By Max Clarke

The taxman will soon target private tutors, e-traders and tradesmen- groups perceived to pay too little tax, HM Revenue and Customs have announced.

The announcement does not give a date or even a timetable for when these campaigns will start, and HMRC are effectively extending an amnesty to members of the above groups who come forward to confess tax evasion.

It is likely that specific time limited opportunities will be announced in the coming months to give those with undisclosed income from UK businesses a chance to come forward voluntarily and receive favourable terms in exchange for coming clean on undeclared income and gains. 

Paul Roberts, Head of Tax Investigations at Grant Thornton UK LLP commented on the HMRC’s imminent crackdown: :"HMRC has been using its information powers and has invested in cutting edge technology to research several areas of industry and has begun to apply this information to collect undisclosed tax.

"The recent plumber’s amnesty opened the door to other traders who have undisclosed taxable income. It offers traders the chance to regularise their affairs with a mitigated penalty on any undeclared tax, as opposed to the maximum of 100% penalties which HMRC usually seeks.

Roberts cautioned: 

"If anyone is contemplating coming forward, it is imperative that they take specialist advice on disclosures to see how this applies to them and their business and whether this HMRC announcement is too good to be true."

"The eMarketplace project has long been rumoured, and will catch anyone who has been consistently buying goods and reselling them in an eMarketplace with the intention of profit. HMRC has obviously researched this using its information powers and will be looking to recover substantial sums from non registered traders. They will not be looking for the occasional sale of private items but at regular trading activity. 

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