Taxman considers amnesty for heating engineers

Permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett has suggested that gas fitters could be the next professional group to be offered a disclosure opportunity.

Following tax amnesties for offshore account holders and healthcare professionals, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may offer a new disclosure opportunity for heating engineers, gas fitters and other trades persons to declare tax irregularities.

Under the plan, any plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers and members of associated trades who come forward and state that they intend to disclose what they owe to the tax office before 31 May will benefit from a reduced penalty. They must then make a full disclosure and arrangements to repay their tax debt by 31 August.

In most circumstances the tax penalty will be limited to 10% of the tax due, but in cases where the person has deliberately deceived HMRC the maximum tax penalty will be 20% – still substantially less than the charge if HMRC catches offenders. HMRC has also promised to only look at records as far back as five years ago.