Businessman jailed following tax investigation

Peter Davis, aged 58, has been sent to prison for 4 years. Mr. Davis, from London and director/ shareholder of Formula 1 Teamwear Ltd, had operated various shops in large shopping centres in London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Cardiff together with few smaller shops and websites. In order to retain his businesses going and to fund his lavish lifestyle, Mr Davis fraudulently submitted seventeen VAT returns from 2009 and 2013, and fraudulently claimed £961,307. Mr. Davis also owned an Italian restaurant in central London but under declared his sales by more than 50%. He had made fraudulent claims for VAT of £58,507. Read more…

Large VAT investigation successfully closed after 9 months with no tax to pay

This client is based in Essex and provides transportation services. The client had received a VAT investigation going back four years and HMRC were initially asking for a substantial tax amount together with penalties and interest. Our tax specialists considered the case in depth a found that the basis of VAT assessments raised by HMRC were incorrect. We sent our technical analysis together with supporting documentation to HMRC. Initially, HMRC refused our technical position and requested further supporting documentation. After several exchanges of technical correspondence the HMRC officers accepted that our position had been correct from the outset and that no tax was due by our client. To make matters even better, HMRC accepted that our client was due a tax refund. We are grateful to the HMRC officers involved in this case for their practical approach towards resolving this fairly complex matter.

 

Our analysis: This case could have dragged on for a long time and is a good example of cooperation. The main factors for early closure were establishing a good relationship with the HMRC inspectors and providing the required information in an effective manner.

HMRC’s VAT and Customs investigation closed after one meeting

This client runs a retail outlet in London and had received a VAT and Customs investigation from HMRC. The client was naturally quite nervous despite being up to date and having paid all their taxes due. Our tax specialists reviewed the client’s records in depth and proposed to meet with the HMRC inspectors. The meeting lasted for approximately an hour and soon HMRC officers accepted that there were no major issues with the company’s VAT and Customs liabilities and that the client’s arrangements were in good order. This was subsequently confirmed in writing by HMRC. We are grateful to the HMRC officers involved for their quick understanding of our client’s business and their pragmatic approach bringing the enquiry to a closure.

 

Our analysis: This was an interesting case where our firm and HMRC worked in cooperation to bring an early and effective closure to a tax investigation. We have seen numerous cases where due to the wrong or defensive stance taken by ordinary accountants, the relationship is tarnished and causing irreversible damage to the enquiry.

Jailed after Tax Fraud Investigation

A businesswoman, Claire Gould, resident of Houghton Le Spring has been jailed for VAT fraud. Ms. Gould used fake invoices to claim back VAT of £175,000 from HMRC. Her fraud was uncovered after an investigation by HMRC’s specialist team. She has received a confiscation order of £80,509 but has only paid back £7,000. If she fails to pay the confiscation order within two months, she will face another eighteen months in prison. Read more..

Jailed for Tax Fraud

1-    John Hamill, resident of Stwarton, Ayrshire trading as a recycling consultant has been jailed for tax fraud after steeling more than £309,000 in tax. Mr. Hamil worked as the owner of GH Consulting from his home. He made profits of £1.3m from 2006 to 2014 but did not register or pay his tax due. On 3 April 2018, at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Mr. Hamil pleaded guilty to Income Tax fraud. He was sentenced to twenty one months in prison. Read more..

Corporation Tax Investigation Closed

This case was referred to us from another accounting firm in London. The case related to a retail company and there was a dispute on some large items that had been claimed in the tax return. The HMRC inspector disagreed with the deductions and had disallowed these resulting in a significant tax liability together with large penalties. The case had been going on for over 3 years before our firm was appointed. Our tax investigation specialists met with the HMRC officers involved and after long discussions and negotiations agreed that full relief will be allowed for the expenses claimed. The relief was split into revenue and capital portions which meant that the client will get relief in two stages compared to no relief before the case came to us. The final settlement meant that the tax demand from HMRC was significantly reduced and the penalties were cancelled. Our firm is grateful to the HMRC officers involved for their cooperation and understanding our client’s position.

Our analysis: This case came to us after roughly three years of the initial enquiry letter. During this period, various areas of dispute arose and matters kept getting worse not mentioning the professional costs that were incurred. After we took on the case, it took us a few weeks to resolve matters and close the case. Our advice has always been to appoint a specialist as early as possible to reach a quick and pain free resolution.

Tax fraudster and benefits cheat jailed

Keiran Farrer, 39, has been jailed for four and half years for tax evasion including VAT fraud of £280,000 and benefits cheating. Mr. Farrer had set up fraudulent business through which he stole VAT and used it to pay for his private flying lessons and lived the life of luxury. Mr. Farrer already had several convictions and a suspended prison sentence at the time he was involved in tax evasion. HMRC’s tax investigation by numerous offices helped uncover his tax fraud and he has now been put in prison. Read more…

Free Webinar on Tax Investigations 28 March 1pm

After our successful seminar on 28 February 2018 at Doubletree Hilton, Holborn, London, we have been requested by a large number of candidates to host regular webinars in relation to tax investigations and various technical tax issues. Our first webinar will be held on 28 March 2018 at 1pm and will cover detailed insight into “Tax investigations and how to get these closed effectively”. If you would like to attend the webinar, please register your interest at seminar@churchilltax.co.uk. The webinar will count towards your CPD if this is relevant to you.

Security company boss jailed for tax fraud of £500,000

Jonathan Benjamin Schofield, 32, a boss of a security company, has been jailed for three years after being involved in tax fraud of almost £500,000. He cheated the HMRC by underpaying VAT, income tax and national insurance. During the tax investigation by HMRC, Mr, Schofield failed to attend several meetings and did not cooperate in any way. On the contrary he continued enjoying his lavish lifestyle which he earned through tax evasion. A confiscation order has been made to recover the tax he stole and will include the sale of his assets/ properties. Read more..

Serious tax investigation closed

This case was referred to us from another accounting firm in London. The client had been under enquiry for some time for undeclared income relating to the main business. HMRC’s focus was that the business had undeclared sales and that the director had been pocketing the cash sales to fund his living costs. Our tax investigation specialists considered the case in depth and how the business sales had been recorded and declared in the VAT and corporation tax returns. We also considered how the director’s lifestyle had changed over the years which showed that in reality our client’s financial position had deteriorated as the business was struggling. This was proven by way of a capital statement presented to HMRC. After HMRC concluded the enquiry for the business where some additions were made to the sales, HMRC accepted our case that there were no changes required to the director’s self assessment tax returns. The director had initially been advised that there would be a significant amount of tax and penalties payable and that he may be made bankrupt. However, after our successful negotiations, the enquiry was closed with no tax to pay. Our team at Churchill Tax Advisers is grateful to the HMRC officers involved in the case for understanding and accepting our client’s deteriorating financial position.

 

Our analysis: This case was referred to us after the client had been badly let down by their previous accountant. The enquiry was connected with another enquiry into the director’s limited company where HMRC suspected undeclared sales which our client blamed on the previous accountant. In our experience people get what they pay for in terms of accounting services and the quality of work done. Each time we receive a tax investigation case from another accountant, we notice a common trend of trying to pay the lowest possible accountancy fee and hence receive bad advice before they are investigated by HMRC. After the investigation, most businesses pay significantly more in fees, taxes, penalties and possible prosecution (which taxpayers normally attempt to blamed on their former accountants but it does not help their case).