Plumber Jailed for Tax Fraud
West Midlands plumber David Williams, 53, was today jailed for 12 months for evading £91,000 of income tax and national insurance during 10 years of trading as a self-employed plumber.
Nine more plumbers have been arrested and investigations are ongoing.
HMRC targeted plumbers in a special campaign in 2011. Other such disclosure campaigns have focused on offshore investments, medical professionals, private tutors and coaches, companies not paying VAT, electricians and online marketplace traders.
More than £500m has been raised from these campaigns and more than £110m from follow-up activity by HMRC.
Williams was arrested in September 2011 after an HMRC investigation which uncovered thousands of pounds in cash at his home.
Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
“Today’s sentencing is a result of our drive to clamp down on tax evasion committed specifically by plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers, electricians and others who fail to declare their earnings and pay the right tax.
“Tax evasion deprives our country of vital resources and gives tax cheats an unfair advantage over their business competitors so we will not hesitate to investigate those we suspect of evading tax”.
HMRC are stating that if you make a voluntary disclosure you may not be charged a penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10 per cent of tax owed.
Once disclosure opportunities close, taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100 per cent of the tax unpaid or, potentially, criminal prosecution.
If you are evading tax then seek help from The VAT Lady. I am cheaper than the non disclosure penalties imposed by HMRC.