Taxman Targets Sparkies

Further to my June ‘heads-up’ on Big Brother’s tax collector, and Octobers missive on private tutors and fitness instructors, HMRC have now announced its latest campaign to recover more undeclared and unpaid tax – they are next targeting electricians! They are in the process of writing to 50,000 of them with a stark warning.

HMRC’s plan gives electricians ‘opportunity’ to declare their outstanding tax. There is a deadline for declaring an ‘intention to disclose earnings’ of 15 May 2012, followed by a full disclosure deadline of 14 August to face penalties of 10-20% (rather than the statutory maximum 100%). Payment plans can be agreed at this time, and payment by installments will be possible.

This latest announcement follows similar ‘amnesties’ for plumbers, doctors and dentists, tutors teaching academic subjects, fitness and dance, musical instruments, art etc.

Head of HMRC Campaigns, Marian Wilson, commented “we are using a variety of intelligence sources to target electricians who have not declared their full income. This is the same method we used for the plumbers’ campaign, and that intelligence has led to 10 arrests and thousands of investigations, so we know it works. Using sophisticated software, this detailed information enables us to target those who should come forward and use the Electricians Tax Safe Plan.”

If you are an electrician, and you have not been declaring all your income, are you concerned? If not, you should be. The HMRC are getting smarter all the time.

Many electricians (unless they have switched career from accounting) may struggle with potentially complex tax declarations and any future tax returns. As ever, the advice must be to make contact with an independent accountant or tax advisor if you have any concerns – preferably before Big Brother finds you.

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