Campaign focused on tradespeople’s tax affairs starts with plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers

HM Revenue & Customs is targeting plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers in a tax crackdown.

Under the plumbers’ tax safe plan (PTSP) workers have until 31 May to tell the tax department of their intention to disclose what they owe.

If they make a full disclosure, most of the workers will face a low penalty rate of 10% but some will have to pay the maximum rate of 20%. They have until 31 August to make their disclosure and arrange for payment.

After this date, using information from various sources, HMRC will carry out investigations targeted at those who have failed to come forward and make a full declaration. Substantial penalties or even criminal prosecution could follow for those who ignore the deadline.

The PTSP is the first initiative in a campaign focused on tradespeople, designed to make it easier to put their tax affairs in order.

Mike Wells, director of risk and intelligence at HMRC, said: “Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for plumbers to come forward, make a full disclosure and benefit from a reduced penalty.

“This is the first step in enabling those with undisclosed income or gains to avoid a full tax investigation. The message is clear: contact us before we contact you.”