By Maximilian Clarke

Electricians could be in for a shock after becoming the focus of HM Revenue & Customs' latest tax crackdown.

The Electricians Tax Safe Plan (ETSP) will begin in February 2012 and give an opportunity for electricians and electrical fitters to come forward and declare unpaid tax.

Stephen Barratt, private client director at James Cowper comments: “A similar initiative for plumbers has so far generated an additional £1.98million, so it is no surprise HRMC is utilising similar tactics with electricians.”

It’s likely that the Revenue holds information relating to electricians as they did for plumbers where HMRC acquired information from Corgi and Gas Safe to aid their investigation of potential targets.

“HM Revenue and Customs are using increasingly sophisticated software to identify those who are not paying sufficient tax; as the use of this software develops they will be able to target specific business more effectively,” continued Baratt. “The chances of going undetected are therefore diminishing.”

“Electricians who suspect their tax affairs are not completely up-to-date would be well-advised to take the disclosure opportunity. This could be the underdeclaration of income, overclaim of expenses or something unrelated to their electricians business. I recommend that those who believe they might owe tax seek advice from an accountant or tax adviser before making a declaration. This way the bill for tax, interest and penalties can be kept to a minimum.”

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