A businessman who committed tax fraud by deliberately winding up companies to avoid paying PAYE and VAT to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been told he faces an extended prison term if he fails to pay back the money he owes to the taxman.
68 year-old James Taylor from Luton is already serving a 30-month sentence for tax fraud and has now been told that unless he pays the £156,000 he owes HMRC, he will spend a further 5 years in jail.
The businessman, who had a transport contract with a local authority to provide bus services for vulnerable people, deliberately wound-up nine companies to avoid paying the tax he owed to HMRC.
When he closed one company, he transferred money owed to HMRC into his personal bank accounts before registering a new company. The local authority was not aware it had been dealing with more than one company, as he continued to use the same trading name, Taylors Transport Services, throughout the entire con operation.
He used the fraudulently obtained money to help fund a holiday home in Devon, rent sports cars including a Bentley Continental GT and quickly pay off a large mortgage.
His scam was revealed in 2013, after HMRC tax fraud investigators discovered the full extent of the businessman’s dishonesty. Taylor admitted fraudulent evasion of VAT and Income Tax and in August 2016 he was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.
In December 2016 he was served with a confiscation order at Luton Crown Court and has been told he must either repay the money he owes within three months or resign himself to a much longer stay in prison.
Kevin Newe, Assistant Director, with HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Our work does not stop at sentencing and Taylor’s fraudulently-funded affluent lifestyle of fast cars, houses and holidays are well and truly over. Now he’s being stripped of his home and all his assets.
Dr Anjulika Salhan, a director and tax investigation specialist with Salhan Accountants commented: “HMRC has wide reaching criminal investigation powers and takes a particularly dim view of using bogus trading methods to deliberately defraud the public purse.
“Whilst there are some individuals who intentionally plot to commit tax fraud, equally many business owners unwittingly fall foul of HMRC’s rules and find themselves under the spotlight of an investigation.
“If expert tax investigation advice is not sought urgently a hefty fine or – worse still – prosecution through the criminal courts could result.
“We have represented a number of individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have found themselves in breach of HMRC regulations. As with all HMRC matters, tax investigations need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.”
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.