A Belfast builder, who failed to pay any income tax or VAT for his construction business, despite collecting over £800,000 in under a year, has been jailed for tax fraud after an investigation by HMRC.
Sean Dornan was registered as a sole trader and received over £800,000 from contractors between August 2012 and April 2013. Investigations revealed that the payments made to Dornan were much higher, and the work completed simply too big, for an individual sub-contractor and that he had been employing others to carry out the work.
As a result, Dornan should have registered as a contractor with HMRC and deducted tax from his workers’ pay. However, the investigation found he had failed to do so and had kept the tax that was due. Further investigations revealed that he had also committed a further £175,000 fraud by failing to pay any VAT.
Mike Parkinson, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: ‘Dornan lined his pockets with tax and VAT payments that should have been used to fund public services. We are investing more time and effort than ever into tracking down those who attempt to rip off the tax system and anyone deliberately choosing to evade their responsibilities should expect not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.’
Dornan was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment when he appeared at Laganside Crown Court and will serve half of the term in prison before being released on licence.