HMRC's latest targeted campaigns

HMRC has pre-announced its next series of campaigns for 2011/12.

They are targeted at: 

  • private tutors and coaches - a large and diverse group that could include sports coaching, private exam tuition and lifestyle coaches; 
  • e-markets - 'this will cover those who are using e-market places to buy and sell goods as a trade or business and who fail to pay the tax owed. People who only sell a few items and who are not traders are unlikely to be liable to tax and will not be targeted by this campaign';
  • a trade - this will build on HMRC's Plumbers Tax Safe Plan and give an opportunity to another group of trades people to come forward and declare unpaid tax.

For each of the above the main focus is similar to the recent Plumbers Tax Safe Plan; hidden income.

The campaigns work by targeting a population, encouraging them to voluntarily disclose hidden income and to pay over the tax they owe backed up by the threat of higher penalties or prosecution if they try to hide.

Clearly care will be needed when considering the proposed campaigns. For example the basics question is an individual trading?

The badges of trade article in this magazine give a useful starting point to this question.

Next campaign

The next campaign, due to start in the next few weeks, is described as a VAT initiative. This will clearly focus on ‘individuals and businesses who are trading above the VAT threshold but who have not yet registered for VAT’ or who have not paid over the correct amount of VAT.

Businesses close to the registration limit or where desegregation could be questioned should review their compliance.

See the Related Documents section of this page for A guide to Vat registration. You may find it useful to send this guide to clients who are close to the threshold. 

Existing campaigns and campaigns timetable


VAT initiative

starting June/July 2011

To start in 2011/12

private tutors and coaches, e-markets and a trade

Existing campaigns



plumbing Industry - Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP) started 2011 disclosure by 31 August

Considering criminal cases

Professionals campaigns

Medics Tax Health Plan (THP): started 2010  

Offshore Campaign

New disclosure Facility (NDO): start 2009

Offshore Disclosure Facility (ODF): start 2007