Time for electricians to get their tax affairs in order

Accountants may want to warn their electrician clients that they will soon come under the spotlight in HMRC’s fight against tax evasion.

Starting in February next year, the Electricians Tax Safe Plan will provide the chance for electricians to come forward and make a voluntary declaration about any unpaid tax. Failure to do so is likely to result in high penalties, and people who continually avoid contact with the Revenue could face criminal prosecution.

The ETSP lays down a broad definition of who classes as an electrician for the purposes of the Plan. HMRC wants anybody who installs, tests and maintains electrical appliances, equipment and systems under strict safety regulations to come forward and make a declaration.

HMRC’s most recent campaign targeted people working in the medical profession and as a result the department raked in £10 million in previously unpaid taxes. During its investigations, a number of arrests were also made. People working in the plumbing profession were also targeted earlier this year.

An HMRC spokesperson said the recent arrests and on-going investigations demonstrate what happens to people who ignore the opportunity to come forward and make a voluntary declaration. The department strongly urges people with unpaid tax liabilities to come forward during these disclosure opportunities as they will get much better terms than they would if the tax evasion investigators track them down.

Next year, HMRC will also be running another campaign targeting online traders who sell through ebay, the online shopping community site.

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