HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said that some 50,000 trades people in the plumbing, gas fitting and heating industry will be getting letters this month allowing them the chance to set their tax affairs in order.
The letter forms part of a temporary tax amnesty under the Plumbers’ Tax Safe Plan (PTSP). The initiative, launched at the beginning of March, means that people can make a disclosure of unpaid taxes over the past five years.
Those with undeclared earnings and tax debts will be liable to penalties of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent only if, by 31 May, they notify HMRC of their intention to make a full disclosure.
Once they have come forward, they will have until 31 August to file the disclosure and to arrange a payment.
After that date, HMRC said it will investigate those who have failed to come forward, with substantial penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax owed or even criminal prosecution the result.
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.”
People can let HMRC know of their intention to make a disclosure by completing a notification form at www.hmrc.gov.uk/plumberstaxsafeplan or by ringing 0845 600 4507.