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Builders blitzed on tax

Builders will be among the targets in the latest HM Revenue and Customs blitz on tax evaders.

Mark Bramall, from Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants, in Shrewsbury, said the crackdown would seek out anyone in the Construction and Building Sector who had deliberately avoided paying tax.

"Anyone who works in the industry and any related sectors, including roofing, window fitting, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, should make sure their tax payments are up-to-date.

"HM Revenue and Customs will be examining their records very closely, and any discrepancies will be severely punished."

Mark said people who make money from direct selling and people who fail to complete tax returns (often higher rate taxpayers) would also be under the microscope.

"These campaigns are the latest in a series launched by HMRC and their rolling programme of tax crackdowns has so far raised more than £500 million."

Previous campaigns have targeted electricians, people who trade on e-marketplaces such as Ebay, tutors and coaches, plumbers, medics, and people with money hidden in offshore bank accounts.

"The tax campaigns aim to encourage people to declare any tax they owe and then HMRC offers them favourable settlement terms in return.

"And so far, as well as recovering more than £500 million in tax, these voluntary disclosure periods have also brought in £105 million from follow-up enquiries.

"Their success is down to the fact that they're now using new technology to analyse information in tax returns and cross-reference their findings with information on the internet to help track down tax avoiders.

"It's clear that they are determined to pursue anyone who deliberately avoids paying the tax they owe, and will be targeting specific industry sectors one by one to make sure they catch the tax cheats out."

Mark Bramall