HMRC amnesty for electricians

 Under a new HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) amnesty, tax-dodging electricians are being given the chance to pay what they owe and escape with a reduced fine of 10% of their unpaid bill.


HMRC has given anyone who installs, maintains and tests electrical systems, equipment and appliances until 15th May 2012 to register with the Electrician Tax Safe Plan and reduce the penalty they will face for unpaid tax.

50,000 individuals (including those who do not owe tax) will receive letters explaining the initiative later this month.

The amnesty is open to those who have deliberately not disclosed taxable income as well as those who have submitted a Tax Return, but made mistakes in the amount of tax they have paid.

Last year HMRC ran a similar campaign aimed at plumbers, offering a reduced penalty of 10% for those who came forward to register before the deadline.  This falls well below the potential 100% penalty charge that usually applies for unpaid tax  

By targeting individual trades rather than applying a single amnesty to all professions, HMRC believes it will attract wider media attention and higher response rates from the professions concerned.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns said: “We are using a variety of intelligence sources to target electricians who have not declared their full income.  This is the same method we used for the plumbers’ campaign, and that intelligence has led to 10 arrests and thousands of investigations, so we know it works.

“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.”

HMRC said that the amnesties provided a good way to deal with less serious offenders and gives those who do not come forward immediately fewer excuses.  They are using new technology, information from online advertising, industry bodies, trade directories, suppliers and tax records to close the net on those who continue to evade tax.

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