Today’s announcement of three new targeted campaigns from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) indicates there will be no let up on tackling tax evasion in 2012, says the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).
HMRC revealed today that they will be targeting those in ‘home improvement trades’ such as builders, roofers and bricklayers, as well as those who make money from direct selling through hand-delivered home catalogues or ‘party plans’ sales. The Revenue also reaffirmed previously announced plans to launch campaigns targeted at electricians and those who trade on e-marketplaces such as e-bay, both of which they intend to launch before the end of March. These are in addition to campaigns targeting tutors and coaches, currently in progress, and plumbers, medics and offshore bank account holders, which have been completed.
On a different, non-trade tack, HMRC will also be targeting those in higher income tax brackets who should be reporting additional income yet fail to complete tax returns.
Gary Ashford, who represents the CIOT on HMRC’s Compliance Reform Forum, and is National Head of Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution at RSM Tenon, commented:
“These campaigns may have a feel of déjà vu to many of us – but to those in the Revenue’s sights they are new and serious. They are a real statement of intent from the Government, and show they are determined to reach their target of bringing in an extra £7 billion over the Parliament through initiatives to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud.
“Builders should be clear that if they fail to fix the cracks in their tax records HMRC could come down on them like a ton of bricks. Window fitters are potentially in the frame for penalties; party planners and other direct marketers who have not been including the taxman in their parties risk getting a very unwelcome invitation from HMRC.
“Anyone who is worried that they have been underpaying tax – whether deliberately or in error, and whether they are covered by the new campaigns or not – should get professional advice without delay. Penalties will generally be less severe for taxpayers who come forward voluntarily to put their affairs in order with HMRC.”
Notes to Editors
- The recent plumbers ‘tax safe plan’ saw nine arrests in the second half of 2011, and hundreds more plumbers put under investigation for finances that HMRC think are less than watertight.
8 February 2012