After announcing success at narrowing the “tax gap”, private tutors are the latest group of professionals to be targeted by HMRC on their crackdown on tax avoidance.
The HMRC said they are beginning to win the fight against avoidance, evasion and fraud.
The tax authority said the gap – the difference between what was paid and what should have been paid - had fallen by £4 billion to £35 billion.
Private tutors’ tax arrangements are the latest target group in a long line of professionals and wealthy individuals to be scrutinised by the HMRC in order to tackle the problem of tax evasion.
HMRC are also drawing focus on tax avoidance among the super-rich, following the announcement that a team of “affluence” inspectors have been recruited to concentrate on individuals living in the UK with a personal wealth of more than £2.5 million.
However, attention will also be focused on low-level tax avoidance by private tutors. As the austerity cuts and high inflation rates take their toll on disposable incomes, a number of school teacher’s work as private tutors to supplement their incomes, and attention will also be on fitness coaches and horse riding instructors who may also do supplementary work.
A HMRC spokesman said the "vast majority" of those who could be classed as private tutors were "fully law-abiding citizens" who pay what they owed. But, he added, there was a "significant enough minority" for it to be concerned.
HMRC will be using cutting-edge tools such as "web robot" software to search the internet and find information about specified people and companies, and their financial affairs. It will then use this information "to pursue people who choose not to use the opportunities we provide for them to put their affairs in order on the best possible terms".
The campaign targeting doctors and dentists raised about £10 million and in HMRC’s most recent campaign, involving plumbers, the money is "still coming in".
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