A Plumber has been found guilty of tax evasion totalling some £112,000 over a 14-year period.
Mr Peter Mack, 59, of Ringwood set up a freelance plumbing business in 1997, but never registered his earning with HM Revenue & Customs. Enquiries made by HMRC found Mack had evaded approximately £88,000 in income tax and VAT plus interest, pushing the total up to £112,000. He was arrested at his home and admitted committing £40,000 of fraud at Southampton Crown Court on 2 April. He was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay £1,800 costs and undertake 100 hours of community service. Mr Mack had recently paid £40,000 to HMRC, which will attempt to recover the remaining money via civil proceedings.
John Cooper, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “After leaving full-time employment in 1997 it would appear that Mack decided to set-up alone and flout the law. He didn’t register for self-assessment, and paid no income tax or VAT. This gave him an unfair and illegal advantage over his law abiding business competitors and robbed the exchequer of vital revenue.”
The verdict follows HMRC investigations targeting plumbers, electricians and gas fitters who failed to take advantage of the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP) amnesty offered last year, which afforded them the opportunity to put their tax affairs in order. Those who have come forward already paid over £4m in outstanding tax. HMRC is continuing to pursue those who have not yet declared their correct tax position.
Mike Wells, HMRC’s director of risk and intelligence services, said: “We want people targeted by any HMRC campaign to come forward and use the opportunity to put the record straight and pay any tax due on the best possible terms. It really is better for people who owe tax to come to HMRC, before we come and find you.”