Amnesty time period criticised

THE SIX-MONTH window for the plumbers’ tax safe plan (PTSP) has been criticised for not giving people sufficient time to disclose their tax affairs.

The plan, announced today, requires people to notify HM Revenues & Customs by May 31 and pay their outstanding balance by August 31 to qualify for the 10% penalties offered under the agreement.

But Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA, warned that this would not be sufficient for many people wishing to disclose.

“Giving plumbers such a short period when they perhaps see their accountants once a year is not a bright idea,” he said.

The professional bodies requested that this deadline should have been extended until the self-assessment deadline of 31 January 2012, he said. HMRC only informed tax organisations about the deadline two weeks ago.

“If they do see accountants once a year, it would be around this time,” he added.

McGrigors director of tax investigations Phil Berwick said it was “a very tight timetable”. He added: “If someone does not register until the end of May, putting figures together in three months is going to be nigh on impossible.”

An HMRC spokesman said that the initial notification is simple. “We have used similar time lines on previous disclosure opportunities and they have proved resoundingly successful,” he added.



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