HMRC Launches Campaign Targeting Builders and E-marketplace Sellers


HMRC is to launch a new campaign to target builders who work in the home improvement market, such as carpenters, roofers and bricklayers and those who buy and sell goods directly to others, particularly in the e-marketplace.

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The taxman will also be targeting people who fail to make tax returns and who are liable to pay tax at the highest tax rates. The good news for individuals and businesses in these industries is that, as with previous campaigns, the new campaigns will try to encourage people in the targeted groups to come clean about tax owed in return for favourable settlement terms.

HMRC has announced that it will use new technology to search the internet for information about specified, targeted people and businesses

According to HMRC, the new campaigns will focus on:

  • Missing returns. This will contribute to wider HMRC activity tackling failure to complete tax returns. It will initially focus on those who fail to complete tax returns and who are liable to pay tax at the highest rates.
  • Home improvement trades. This will build on campaigns aimed at plumbers and electricians, and will include several 100,000 tradespeople in construction and building work such as roofing, window fitting, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.
  • Direct selling. This will target customers who ought to be paying tax on income they earn from buying and selling goods direct to others, or from the commission on these sales.

Marian Wilson, of HMRC's Risk and Intelligence, said: "We are offering all the people targeted the opportunity to come forward. Penalties will be higher if we come and find people after the opportunity. A criminal investigation may also result. I therefore urge them to disclose unpaid tax voluntarily."

The two campaigns to be launched by HMRC will specifically target:

  • E-marketplaces (such as EBay) - This will cover those who are using e-marketplaces to buy and sell goods as a trade or business and who fail to pay the tax owed. People who only sell a few items and who are not traders are unlikely to be liable to tax and will not be targeted by this campaign.
  • Electricians. This will build on HMRC's plumbers' campaign and give an opportunity to another group of tradespeople to come forward and declare unpaid tax.
Previous HMRC campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters and private tutors. HMRC Logo

If you are working in these industries and have any reservations or questions about your tax requirements, contact Tim Adcock on tel: 0151 255 2300 or complete a quick enquiry form and we will respond to your query.

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