Taxman offers ‘amnesty’ for plumbers... and others..?

Published:  02 March, 2011

Traders working in the plumbing, heating and gas installation industry with something to disclose to H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have until 31 May to notify an intention to participate in a new tax ‘amnesty’ announced this week.


All additional liabilities must be fully disclosed and paid by 31 August 2011.

By entering into the “Plumbers Tax Safe Plan” (PTSP), a streamlined and relatively painless process which HMRC terms ‘a fresh start’, traders with tax irregularities, including those not known to HMRC, can seek to put things right with the taxman and typically secure a penalty addition of just 10% of the tax underpaid over the past five years.

Mike Down, Tax Investigations Partner at Baker Tilly explains: “This new initiative has been expected for some time and builds on previous ‘amnesties’ relating to offshore bank accounts, Liechtenstein and doctors and dentists. Whilst the new scheme inevitably falls short of a general amnesty, interestingly HMRC actively invites anyone with tax irregularities to come forward and disclose using the PTSP forms in the expectation of very similar beneficial terms.”

HMRC states that a maximum PTSP penalty of 20% will be reserved for cases where more serious and ‘deliberate’ irregularities have occurred. In such circumstances, the taxman will seek back tax over 20 years.

Mr Down continues: “Anybody with extra income or gains to disclose, whether in the plumbing industry or not, should seriously consider coming forward now. Those who do not and who are subsequently found out will be liable to penalties of between 35% and 100% of the tax evaded.”

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