So… the latest tax enquiry focus is taking a hard look at plumbers.
Why is this do we think? Certainly the plumbing Industry is prone to ‘cash in hand’ jobs but probably no more than any other of the building trades, taxi drivers, restaurants or any other ‘usual suspects that HMRC traditionally lines up for enquiry.
In fact the answer is rather darker – Welcome to the beginnings of HMRC’s 21st Century technology – CONNECT. HMRC has a brand new toy – a computer system known as connect, which can cross reference data from plumbing industry watchdogs Gas Safe and Corgi. Connect has already been successfully used to analyse data from stamp duty records and house sales.
So, The future seems likely to hold more of these enquiries as HMRC applies for data from heavily regulated industries, where form filling is the norm. Plumbers may be the easiest target at the moment as they have to submit paperwork to Gas Safe but most professions are regulated and there’s an awful lot of data out there.