Tax dodging plumber jailed for 12 months
A West Midlands plumber has been jailed for 12 months for evading £91,000 of income tax and national insurance during ten years of trading as a self-employed worker.
David Williams, 53, of Sandwell is the first person jailed following an HM Revenue and Customs clampdown on the plumbing sector last year.
Nine more plumbers have been arrested and investigations are ongoing.
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.”
On sentencing, His Honour Judge Challinor, said: “You were squirreling the money away, it was based on greed. Those tempted to avoid paying income tax must be deterred.”
Williams pleaded guilty to charges of Evasion of Income Tax, contrary to the Taxes Management Act 1970.
Source: Construction Enquirer
LST Comment: We applaud this decision and its message; work should be tendered for on an even playing field. Tenders should be won on a history of well completed jobs, a good health and safety record, being suitably prequalified and a fair price. Tax evasion allows for undercutting, which does no one any favours in the long run. Of note; recent HMRC adverts on local radio highlight the need for self-employed artisan tradesmen to take heed, and pay any taxes due.
HMRC are currently running a Electricians’ Tax Safe Plan campaign to encourage any electricians who have not declared their correct earnings to do so before 15 May 2012, and be free of prosecution, for full details follow the link http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/campaigns/etsp.htm. It’s basically a ‘fresh start’. You can stop worrying about what might happen when HMRC find out that you’ve not been telling them about all of your income. It’s a chance to start getting things right from now on, whilst knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost to sort out things for earlier years