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Archive for February, 2012

HMRC to target home improvement trades for unpaid tax

February 16th, 2012

The HMRC has recently announced three new campaigns about which construction clients need to be aware. In their press release, the HMRC said that the campaigns will focus on:

  • Missing returns. This will contribute to wider HMRC activity tackling failure to complete tax returns. It will initially focus on those who fail to complete tax returns and who are liable to pay tax at the highest rates.
  • Home improvement trades. This will build on campaigns aimed at plumbers and electricians, and will include several 100,000 tradespeople in construction and building work such as roofing, window fitting, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.
  • Direct selling. This will target customers who ought to be paying tax on income they earn from buying and selling goods direct to others, or from the commission on these sales.

The release went on to say: “Using new technology, we have been able to analyse returns to HMRC covering a range of taxes and to cross-reference these with other information to build a picture of where we believe we have taxpayers with missing returns.”

The HMRC also said that, like their previous campaigns, they will give those people who are in the groups they are targeting the opportunity to pay any tax they owe and to “put their affairs in order on the best possible terms”.

So, as is generally the case, those who are adhering to the law have nothing to be worried about.

You can read the press release in full by clicking here.

Don’t forget, Andrew Bourne & Co provide cover in respect of Tax Disputes, VAT Investigations and Employment Law Issues either as a package policy or as individual covers.


For further details please contact your usual account executive or Richard Gibson on  0116 272 0770

Insurance cheats face crackdown as fraud register looms

February 10th, 2012


Insurers will be able to dip into the IFR to weed out insurance cheats who currently add an estimated £50 to every policy.

The IFR is the latest in a series of fraud busting initiatives. The Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department has led to a number of arrests since it kicked off in January.

Managing director at Detica Imam Hope said the register was a “serious blow to insurance cheats”.

“The IFR is laying the groundwork to deliver a serious blow to insurance cheats. It is vital to collect information about known fraudsters so that this can be combined with existing counter fraud data analysis to further protect honest customers from being penalised.

“The IFR is a beacon to the global insurance industry with other countries taking an active interest in this initiative. Detica NetReveal’s partnership with both the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Association of British Insurers underlines the importance of the innovative approaches we are providing in the fight against fraud,” he said.

Head of fraud at AXA Richard Davies, who is leading the project, said “The signing of the contracts is an important step as we move towards delivery of the Insurance Fraud Register during the Summer.

“Over the coming months, we will step up our engagement with insurers to ensure they are ready to participate. We will also be talking with consumer organisations so that they fully understand what the Register will mean for consumers.

“While insurers remain committed to paying genuine claims as quickly as possible, committing insurance fraud will have long and serious consequences.”  

A number of insurers will now work with the Insurance Fraud Bureau on systems testing to ensure delivery of the Register during the third quarter, likely to be July.

For more information or you would like a free impartial review of your insurance arrangements, please contact Richard Gibson on 0116 272 0770 or


The Construction Supply Chain – Everyone must play their part in Health & Safety

February 10th, 2012

A case in Scotland, which recently resulted in three companies being fined over the same incident, provides a reminder of the health and safety responsibilities of all firms involved in any part of the construction supply chain, not just the contractor.

The companies were – between them – fined over £300,000 following a fall of over 6 metres by a worker on to a concrete floor. The accident happened when the worker was installing a security system. The companies that were fined were the customer, the contractor firm and the firm to which the job had been sub-contracted – which was the injured man’s employer.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the customer had not requested a written risk assessment of the work from either the contractor or the sub-contractor. The contractor was understood to have carried out a general risk assessment relating to working at height but not one that related to this particular project. It’s understood that the sub-contracted firm was not aware of the contractor’s risk assessment. It was reported that neither company had a method statement detailing how the work was to be safely conducted.

Furthermore, the customer did not conduct safety inductions for contractors before the commencement of work on site or hold safety meetings once work was underway to check the ongoing safety of the work.

This comes as a salutary warning to construction firms of the extent of their health and safety responsibilities.

As ever, the HSE provides useful information:

For further information on insurance and risk management solutions for the construction industry, please contact Richard Gibson on 0116 2720770 or

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