A West Midlands plumber was jailed today for 12 months after being found guilty of tax evasion. At the same time HMRC announced that 9 more plumbers have been arrested and criminal investigations are ongoing.
David Williams, aged 53 of Sandwell, had pleaded guilty to charges of Evasion of Income Tax, contrary to the Taxes Management Act 1970 at Wolverhampton Crown Court. He was alleged to have evaded £91,000 of income tax and national insurance during 10 years’ trading as a self-employed plumber.
Plumbers had been offered a simplified tax disclosure facility in 2011, with most being charged a penalty of 10% of tax owed. The taxman said: “Today’s sentencing is a result of our drive to clamp down on tax evasion committed specifically by plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers, electricians and others who fail to declare their earnings and pay the right tax. “
HMRC have a rolling programme of time limited disclosure facilities for different trades. Currently they are offering a disclosure facility to electricians and e-traders. Once these disclosure opportunities close, taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities can face higher penalties, rising to 200% of the tax unpaid, and in some cases could face criminal prosecution.
What does this mean for me?
Where a trader wants to make a disclosure they can do so whilst the specific trade’s disclosure facility is still open. Lynam Tax can assist with this. Once that specific trade’s disclosure programme has closed there is still an opportunity to make a disclosure on favourable terms, and to avert prosecution, using the Contractual Disclosure Facility. Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have massive experience in handling Contractual Disclosure Facility cases and can advise more on this issue.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997