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Plumbers arrested in HMRC raids

Plumbers arrested in HMRC raids

HMRC recently announced that five plumbers have been arrested as part of its crackdown on unpaid tax. In addition to the arrests that took place during raids in Hampshire, London, Middlesex, Surrey and West Bromwich, a further 500 investigations are ongoing.

Earlier this year, the Revenue sent letters to 50,000 people working in the plumbing sector warning them they would face large fines if they did not settle their tax liabilities. HMRC thought that some plumbers were moonlighting and receiving cash in hand without declaring tax. Anyone who owned up before the May deadline was fined up to 20% of the tax they owed.

HMRC then raided those who did not come forward initially to make sure they pay their outstanding tax. It is thought that some individuals owe as much as £150,000.

John Pointing from the Revenue said these arrests were the culmination of many months work and warned that more raids will take place in counties across the country including Cambridgeshire, Kent, the Midlands, Tyne & Wear, Yorkshire and South Wales.

Previously the CIoT had said that the Plumbers Safe Tax Plan campaign was not publicised enough and some plumbers were unaware of its existence. However, HMRC has now stepped up the pressure.

Gary Ashford from the Institute said the Revenue as only had limited success with its medical and plumbers’ voluntary disclosure opportunities, so now they are adopting a tougher stance with those who did not come forward. HMRC holds a lot of information and it is now starting to use it.

The government claims that it loses £45 billion every year through undisclosed taxation in the UK and HMRC has now been given £917 billion to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion.

Plumbers who did come forward and make a disclosure have until the end of this month to pay up in full or make arrangements to pay their outstanding tax liabilities.

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Image: Bernd – The Plumber – is getting ready by insane gal

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