Electricians warned to get their tax affairs in order

Contractor accountants might find there is more demand for their services after HMRC announced it intends to target electricians in its latest campaign against tax avoidance.

Starting this month, the Revenue will crack down on sparkies as part of its plans target high risk sectors. An HMRC spokesperson said the latest move builds on last year’s campaign targeting plumbers and gives another group of tradespeople the opportunity to come forward and disclose previously unpaid taxes.

HMRC defines an electrician as anyone who installs, tests and maintains electrical systems, appliances and equipment under rigorous safety regulations.

People who take advantage of the Electricians Tax Safe Plan will receive a lower than normal penalty if they make a voluntary disclosure. This fine is likely to be similar to that offered to plumbers; i.e. between 10% and 20% of the previously undeclared tax.

Under the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan, around 600 people informed the Revenue that they intend to declare unpaid tax. The plan has already netted HMRC with around £2 million. Furthermore, nine people who did not come forward were arrested and the Revenue has prepared almost a thousand civil cases.

The assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, John Pointing, recently said that the arrests were the culmination of many months work. Plumbers were invited to come forward and rectify their tax position. Those who chose to ignore the opportunity are now finding out that they cannot escape and that HMRC will hunt them out and take appropriate action against them.

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