Plumbers told ‘act now on unpaid taxes’

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A LOCAL accountancy firm is warning plumbers to take advantage of an offer from HM Revenue and Customs to come clean about unpaid tax or face heavy penalties in the future.

The Tax Man is offering to reduce the usual 50 to 60 per cent penalty for failing to declare tax to 10 per cent if plumbers come forward before the end of May.

Peter Newsam, partner at Sheffield accountants UHY Wingfield Slater, said: “Many plumbers will think that even a 10 per cent penalty is too high to encourage them to come forward and declare their unpaid tax.”

“They might think that the carrot simply isn’t sweet enough, particularly if they are substantially behind and cannot afford the outstanding tax, let alone a 10 per cent penalty. In the past HMRC has always increased the tax penalties for people who failed to come forward in a tax disclosure opportunity. Plumbers who don’t use the scheme risk being hit with a much bigger bill if they get caught later.

“Plumbers who don’t realise they owe outstanding tax could get hit with bigger fines for failing to come forward – even though they don’t realise that they are behind on their tax.”