HMRC will jail folk who do not pay their taxes

Whilst reading through my emails earlier today I came accross a press release from HMRC and thought yes they mean business, yes the man or woman who has over the years not submitted their due tax returns becuase they "got away with it once"  will get caught, they will have assests seized, they will be jailed.  

Below is an extract from the press release.

Paper trail leads bluffing businessman to jail
A millionaire businessman, who failed to pay any tax on his earnings because he wasn’t a “paperwork person”, has been sentenced to four years for evading more than £1.3m in tax after he was investigated by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Mr X aged 62, ran two profitable businesses - a 50-fleet haulage business in Essex and a shooting club - but didn’t submit a single tax return on his earnings, including profits from the sale of three properties.

The investigation found that gun-enthusiast had failed to declare his earnings despite his bookkeeper and accountant urging him to do so. When he was arrested at his home in June 2015, he told investigating officers that he hadn’t submitted his Self Assessment tax returns for the last seven years because he wasn’t a “paperwork person”. This was despite a prior warning from HMRC under civil legislation to keep his tax affairs in order.  Arresting officers also seized more than £20,000 in cash found in his car and wardrobe.

The fraud was uncovered by an HMRC property taskforce, set up to identify those who avoid paying tax on property transactions. he hadn’t paid capital gains tax on a property he’d sold, breaching an earlier agreement that gave him the opportunity to get his tax affairs in order.

HMRC officers discovered that while he had kept meticulous business records, and ensured that his bookkeeper and accountant were notified of all receipts and earnings, he never signed or posted the tax returns they prepared on his behalf, claiming that he thought they had submitted the paperwork.

Officers discovered he had spent the stolen tax on extravagant lifestyle expenses, including mortgages on two properties, family holidays to Marbella, Rolex watches, investments in phosphate mining in Iraq, a gun collection and at least nine vehicles.  The total value of his tax fraud is £1,364,813.26.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“he could have avoided jail, and was given every opportunity to get his tax affairs in order. However, despite warnings and advice from professionals, he showed a blatant disregard for the tax system and funded a lavish lifestyle at taxpayers’ expense" ..............................