Food takeaway tax fraudster jailed for short-changing HMRC

A fast-food owner, who deliberately committed tax fraud by lying about the true worth of his shop’s takings, has been sent to jail for two and half years.

Mehmet Tekagac, who owned the Top Grill Kebab and Pizza House in Penketh, near Warrington was subjected to a tax investigation after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suspected that he was under-declaring his takings.

Tax investigators found Tekagac’s claims that over a three-year period he only made around £9,000 a year from his business, were in fact fraudulent.

After investigating his bank records, personal income and records of sales made through his website, they discovered he had earned far more and had committed tax fraud as a result.

HMRC’s tax investigators found that his fraud added up to £179,000 in unpaid tax revenue, including evasion of £31,244 in Corporation Tax and £98,000 in unpaid VAT that he had charged customers.

The tax investigation also revealed that he had falsely claimed £49,528 as a low income family of six, which he was not entitled to.

Liverpool Crown Court sentenced Tekagac to 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and confiscation proceedings have now begun to recover the stolen tax.

Following the court hearing, Sandra Smith, HMRC Fraud Investigation Service’s Assistant Director, said: “Tekagac is paying the price for thinking it was acceptable to steal from the public purse. He took his fraudulent income at the expense of honest taxpayers and businesses who play by the rules.”

Dr Anjulika Salhan, a director and tax investigation specialist with Salhan Accountants commented: “This case illustrates the far-reaching tax investigation powers at HMRC’s disposal.

“If fraud is suspected, tax investigators are able to issue a summons, requiring banks and other financial institutions to divulge an individual’s account records.

“In such circumstances, where a person has deliberately set out to commit tax fraud, HMRC will not hesitate to prosecute.”

Dr Salhan continued: “Although a minority of individuals intentionally set out to defraud HMRC, there are many people who find that they have unwittingly broken HMRC’s tax rules and are shocked to discover that they are under the spotlight of a tax investigation.

“At Salhan Accountants, we work extremely hard for clients subjected to a taxation investigation. We not only clarify the issues and the process, but come up with solutions too.

Our experience, professional reputation, forensic attention to detail and negotiating skills mean we are well-placed to achieve positive outcomes.”

For more information about our taxation investigation services, please contact us.