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As HM Revenue & Customs are reporting success in the fight against tax evasion, avoidance and fraud, private tutors have become the next targets for tax inspectors. According to HMRC, the tax gap has been reduced by around £4 billion. This follows the previous initiatives to persuade doctors, dentists and plumbers to come forward with any undeclared income to HMRC, who are now setting their sights on tutors.

Tutors could include music teachers, fitness instructors, horse riding instructors and school teachers who look to private tutoring to supplement their income. Recently, HMRC has focused its efforts on people who have personal means above £2.5 million, but from October intends to concentrate on tutors.

A spokesperson from HMRC said that most of the people who offer private tuition are “fully law-abiding citizens” who declare all their income. However, there is a small group of people who don’t declare all their income, and HMRC intends to tackle them. The latest software will be utilised in the investigations of HMRC, which will discover all relevant information regarding individuals and businesses. The individual or business will be invited to pay what they owe. Any penalties charged will be lower than if HMRC pursue the individual or company.

The campaign which targeted the medical profession saw approximately £10 million come in from the investigations and the campaign targeting the plumbing industry is still seeing the revenue coming in, with £94,000 already submitted and a further £234,000 to be paid. In 2010, HMRC was given £900 million to invest in compliance and to gradually reduce the tax gap.

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