HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is offering electricians a limited time opportunity to pay any past due taxes with reduced penalties, the department announced. The reduced rate, available to anyone who installs, services, and tests electrical systems, drops penalties to only 10-20 per cent. This is a drastic drop from the 100 per cent penalties normally charged.
The deal follows several arrests of those working in the plumbing field for tax evasion. A previous campaign allowed plumbers and heating engineers to pay back taxes at reduced penalties.
For engineers, the HMRC Tax Safe Plan may be the last chance to avoid further action. HMRC has pinpointed those engineers it believes to be delinquent on taxes on its mail-out about the Tax Safe Plan. Those who fail to respond by the May 15 deadline will face much higher penalties and possible criminal prosecution.
In fact, HMRC warns electricians who don’t come forward that they can expect to be under closer scrutiny once the May 15 deadline has passed. HMRC is using a wide range of sources to spotlight electricians and comparing tax records to those sources, which include trade directories, suppliers, online advertising, and more.
If you haven’t received a notice about the Tax Safe Plan, that doesn’t mean your tax debt has gone unnoticed. Whether you’ve received a tax notice or not, you should contact HMRC before May 15 to apply for the plan. Here are the steps to take if you are an electrician and owe taxes to HMRC:
- Contact HMRC as soon as possible. There are two ways to notify HMRC that you are filing a tax disclosure. Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/campaigns/notify.htm or call 0845 601 5041.
- Gather all income information and plan to disclose everything to HMRC. You may be required to only pay taxes on the past six years. By fully disclosing all income, you also may be able to designate how much your penalty should be.
- Calculate your taxes. The deadline for calculating and paying the past due taxes and penalties is August 14.
- Once your application is accepted, you may be able to work with HMRC to pay your taxes due in installments. This will satisfy HMRC’s requirements without stretching your budget.
By disclosing all income and paying it off, you’ll be giving yourself a fresh start with HMRC. This will take the concern about criminal charges and large fines out of the equation.
More campaigns are planned, including campaigns that help those who sell and buy items online, homebuilders, and salespeople who work on commission. If you have missing tax returns, you will also be the topic of a future campaign.
If you aren’t an electrician and still want to disclose your income to HMRC, they may be able to help you. Contact the Campaigns Voluntary Disclosure Helpline at 0845 601 5041.