The Tax office is targeting around 50,000 plumbers, heating engineers and gas fitters giving them the opportunity to come clean about any unpaid taxes.
A letter being sent out will explain that, once the opportunity expires, HMRC will begin a clampdown on those working in the sector who have failed to declare earnings and pay the tax they owe.
Under the tax plan, plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and members of associated trades who owe tax which they have not yet declared can come forward anytime up to 31 May to tell HMRC they want to take part. If they make a full disclosure, most face a low penalty rate of 10% to 20%. Once they come forward, they have until 31 August to make their disclosure and arrange for payment.
After that date, using HMRC will investigate those who have failed to come forward. Substantial penalties or even criminal prosecution could follow.
The Plumbers’ Tax Safe Plan (PTSP) is the first initiative in a campaign focused on tradespeople. It is designed to make it easy for those in the plumbing industry to put their tax affairs in order.
A similar scheme last year targeted doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals.
Mike Wells, HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence, said: “Our aim is to make it easy for plumbers to contact us, make a full disclosure of income and face a reduced penalty.
“We are using a variety of intelligence sources to target plumbers who have not declared their full income and I urge tradespeople in this group who think they owe tax on their income to get in touch with HMRC and get their tax affairs in order simply and on the best available terms.”