We examine how HMRC continue to ramp up prosecutions for UK business who evade taxes. This article was originally published by World.tax and is available on their website.
HMRC have increasingly been targeting the offshore arena in recent years, but it should not be overlooked that they continue to undertake civil and criminal investigations without any overseas angle whatsoever.
This is all to evident in a recent case involving a chain of children’s nurseries, where the co-owner, Michael Scot has today been jailed for five and a half years and suspended from being a company director for ten years for failing to pay around £950,000 in tax deducted from his employees’ salaries to HMRC.
HMRC began an investigation after former employees raised concerns about gaps in their income tax and National Insurance records. This found that Michael Scot had been failing to make payments for more than four and a half years, between April 2007 and November 2011.
Upon sentencing His Honour Judge Henry said: ‘Fraud against the Revenue goes to the heart of society, but millions pay their taxes year in year out. This is a cheat of your fellow citizens, but the group you put at substantial risk is your staff. Your actions put in jeopardy their rights and entitlements.
This goes to show that HMRC are not just concentrating on individuals who have unpaid taxes connected with an overseas bank account, they are undertaking criminal investigations involving wholly domestic tax matters.