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Sparkies next for evasion investigation

07 December 2011
Issue: 4334 / Categories: News , ETSP , Admin
Electricians offered disclosure scheme; HMRC target property transactions

Electricians are to be the next group of tradespeople to be scrutinised by the Revenue as it continues to widen its gaze in the lookout for tax evaders.

The electricians’ tax safe plan (ETSP) will be instigated on 12 January to allow sparkies to come forward with details of unpaid tax without fear of being hit by overwhelming penalties. Fines are likely to be no more than 10% of the amount owed in most cases, while individuals who do not declare their tax debts will risk criminal prosecution.

Stephen Barratt, private client director at James Cowper accountants in Oxfordshire, claimed the comparable plumbers’ tax safe plan, launched in March, has so far raised almost £2 million. ‘It is no surprise HMRC are utilising similar tactics with electricians,’ he said.

The ESTP is the latest of several disclosure schemes with narrow aim. The Revenue has targeted a variety of industries and professions during 2011 in an effort to recoup money lost each year to the Treasury through the actions of tax cheats.

Last month, the department warned construction traders and landlords in north-west England and north Wales and owners of Scotland’s scrappage yards that they face a visit by a team of specialist investigators. 

Another such taskforce was announced this morning to look into property transactions throughout Greater London, in a clampdown on deliberate failure to comply with the option-to-tax regime.

Also today, private tutors and coaches were reminded they have one month remaining in which to provide information about the tax they owe under their own disclosure opportunity.

Issue: 4334 / Categories: News , ETSP , Admin
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