HMRC kicks off blitz on property tax cheats

HMRC kicks off blitz on property tax cheats

9:50 AM, 27th April 2011, About 13 years ago

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HM Revenue and Customs has launched the first in a rolling campaign of cut-price amnesties aimed at encouraging people in property related businesses to give up cheating on their tax.

From this week, letters will invite around 50,000 plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers to put their tax affairs in order with a special discount on fines and penalties of 10% – 20% by August 31.

HMRC will then launch full investigations in to the tax affairs of those who have not come forward with the threat of much more severe penalties.

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.”

“The first step for those wishing to avoid a full tax investigation with much higher penalties is to notify us.”

“We do not think everyone who receives a letter owes us tax. However, if you owe tax and don’t get a letter, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you.”

To join the tax amnesty, people in the plumbing industry must:

  • Register with HMRC by May 31 to let them know that they plan to make a voluntary tax disclosure
  • Disclose any undeclared income by August 31 and arrange to pay any tax interest and penalties due

The amnesty is part of a £900 million clamp down on tax cheats by HMRC. Other recent tax amnesty campaigns have involved doctors, dentists and offshore investors.

The move also coincides with the start of business record-keeping inspections by HMRC for 50,000 small businesses.

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