The Revenue has announced that in addition to the five arrests, a further 600 plumbers are being investigated. It is believed that none of those being investigated came forward under the recent Plumber Tax Safe Plan. A spokesman for HMRC confirmed that some of those under investigation owe the Revenue up to £150,000.
Over the coming weeks, more raids will take place in Cambridgeshire, Kent, the Midlands, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire and South Wales.
HMRC’s assistant director of criminal investigation, John Pointing, said the arrests were the culmination of several months work by the Revenue. Plumbers were given the opportunity to come forward voluntarily and declare previously unpaid taxes and these arrests show that HMRC is serious in its intention to take action against those who do not want to pay what they owe.
Mike Wells, HMRC’s director of risk and intelligence, added that this is just the beginning. The Revenue is currently considering whether to prosecute hundreds of other defaulters from both the medical and plumbing professions. Some people may have believed that the department was bluffing when it said it would prosecute but this proves that HMRC is serious in its bid to stamp out tax evasion and will prosecute offenders if necessary.