Peter Mack, a plumber from Ringwood, Hampshire, has been given a four month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months for tax evasion. The conviction follows HMRC’s recent campaign targeted at plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers.
Last year HMRC launched a tax amnesty, the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan, whereby those in the plumbing and gas heating trade could volunteer unpaid taxes to HMRC in return for certain assurances.
Needless to say, Mr Mack, was not one of those and following an HMRC investigation it was discovered that he had set up his own plumbing business in 1997 after leaving full time employment but failed to register this with the Revenue and make a declaration of his income.
Over a 14 year period Mack evaded £88,000 income tax and VAT as follows:
2004 – 2010: £50,000
2010 – 2011: £10,000
Once interest had been added to the arrears the total came to £112,000.
Mr Mack was arrested in July 2011 and last month pleaded guilty to fraud of £40,000 at Southampton Crown Court. Having already received £40,000 from Mack, HMRC will seek to recover the remaining tax through civil proceedings
In addition to the 12 month suspended sentence Peter Mack was ordered to pay £1,800 costs and to carry out 100 hours of community service.
This latest conviction follows that of West Midlands plumber, David Williams, who was jailed for 12 months back in March, after evading tax and NIC totalling £91,000 during 10 years of trading.
With other recent arrests of plumbers and ongoing investigations, HMRC is clearly signalling that it is serious in cracking down on tax evasion.