Five plumbers have been arrested by the taxman as part of a major initiative to crack down on tax fraud in the plumbing and construction industry. Another 600 are now under civil investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for failing to pay the right amount of tax. Some of those involved owe up to £150,000.
The raids and arrests for suspected tax fraud took place in London; Ringwood, Hampshire; West Ewell, Surrey; Twickenham, Middlesex; and West Bromwich, West Midlands.
The criminal and civil investigations follow hot on the heels of the closure of the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP). This was a Tax Amnesty campaign targeting plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and members of associated trades, and which invited them to put their tax affairs in order; in return for more generous terms than usual.
HMRC say: “These arrests are just the start and more raids will take place over the coming weeks across the UK, including Yorkshire, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Tyne & Wear, Midlands and South Wales. HMRC is considering hundreds of further cases for criminal investigation in the plumbing and medical professions. Some people may have thought we were bluffing when we said we have information that we will use to prosecute tax evasion.”
The guaranteed 10% penalty terms of the PTSP are no longer available. But the taxman has left the PTSP disclosure route open for those in the plumbing industry who have unpaid tax to disclose and now want to step forward. And low penalties are still achievable for those who make unprompted full disclosures.
What does this mean for me?
If you are in the building industry and have tax irregularities, then you are at serious risk of HMRC carrying out an in-depth investigation, or even a criminal enquiry. There is still time to make a full disclosure to HMRC: in order to both avoid prosecution and also to secure excellent terms, including lower penalties. If you have recently been contacted by HMRC as part of the recent investigation initiative then you need specialist help now.
How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
The tax specialists at Lynam Tax have nearly 40 years full-time experience of dealing with tax enquiries and disclosures. We can manage your tax investigation or disclosure for you – in order to obtain the optimum outcome: including the lowest figure of tax, interest and penalties available.
For a free initial discussion: phone Paul Lynam now on: 0845 643 9997