Builders warned of upcoming tax avoidance clampdown

Construction industry professionals have been advised to get their tax affairs in order if they are to avoid the threat of prosecution.

Over the past couple of years, a number of professions, including doctors and dentists, have been specifically targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials in a bid to clamp down on tax evasion.

Now it’s the turn of builders' earnings to come under the spotlight, with officials warning that they will clamp down hard on any tax dodgers if they find any discrepancies between what they earned and what they paid to the Treasury.

It is anticipated that the clampdown will be carried out later in the year, with HMRC staff to use web searches to piece together numerous pieces of information.

"We are offering all the people targeted the opportunity to come forward," said Marian Wilson of HMRC.

"Penalties will be higher if we come and find people after the opportunity. A criminal investigation may also result," she added.

According to the government, some £7 billion can be saved over the course of a parliamentary term by getting tough on tax avoidance.