Plumber sentenced for tax dodging

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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HM Revenue & Customs is continuing its crack-down on self-employed tradespeople following the conviction of a plumber who dodged paying £80,000 in tax.

Peter Mack, 59, of Ringwood set up his own freelance plumbing business in 1997 but never registered his earnings with HMRC.

During a 14 year period Mack evaded around £88,000 of Income Tax and VAT, plus interest, bringing the total to £112,000.

He was arrested at his home on July 28 last year and pleaded guilty to £40,000 of fraud at Southampton Crown Court.

He was sentenced to a four month jail term, suspended for 12 months, and must also pay £1,800 costs and serve 100 hours of community service.

Mack has recently paid £40,000 to HMRC who will seek to recover the rest of the money through civil proceedings.

John Cooper, HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, said: “After leaving full-time employment in 1997 it would appear that Mack decided to set-up alone and flout the law. He didn’t register for Self Assessment, and paid no Income Tax or VAT.

“This gave him an unfair and illegal advantage over his law abiding business competitors and robbed the exchequer of vital revenue.”

Mike Wells, HMRC Director of Risk and Intelligence Services, said: “We want people targeted by any HMRC campaign to come forward and use the opportunity to put the record straight and pay any tax due on the best possible terms.

“It really is better for people who owe tax to come to HMRC, before we come and find you.”

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