Tax authority pulls plug on electricians who don’t pay up

ELECTRICIANS will this month start receiving letters from the taxman warning them to pay any undisclosed taxes.

Electricians have until 15 May to register with the scheme and until 14 August to disclose any tax owed and arrange payment. If they make a full disclosure, most face a penalty of 10% and a maximum of 20%.

Electricians who don’t use the scheme and are found to owe tax will face higher penalties – rising to 100% of the tax evaded or potentially criminal prosecution.

Marian Wilson, head of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) campaigns, said it was getting information from a wide range of sources, including online advertising, industry bodies, trade directories and tax records.

“I urge tradespeople in this group who think they owe tax on their income to get in touch and get their tax affairs in order, simply and on the best terms.

“We do not think everyone who receives a letter owes us tax. However, if you owe tax and don’t get a letter, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you.”

Last week the taxman announced plans to target tax evasion by tradespeople such as roofers, bricklayers and carpenters, and people who make money from hand-delivered home catalogues.

Previous targets have included tutors and coaches, plumbers, medics and offshore bank account holders.

HMRC will write to more than 50,000 electricians in the second part of a campaign aimed at tradespeople. The first, which targeted plumbers and heating engineers, has led to 10 arrests and thousands of investigations.

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