A self-employed double-glazing salesman from Leeds who hid over £200,000 of earnings from HMRC for six years has been given a 16 month suspended prison sentence
Adam Barraclough, from Morley, signed a contract with Safestyle UK in 2007 stating that he would take care of his own tax affairs, before embarking on a career with the firm that saw him earn £288,000.
However, an HMRC taskforce set up in 2014 to investigate self-employed individuals working in the double-glazing trade discovered Barraclough had failed to register as self-employed or pay any tax or national insurance between 2007 and 2013. In total, Barraclough avoided paying more than £73,000.
When challenged, Barraclough told investigators he knew that he should have registered with HMRC in 2007, but had instead ‘buried his head in the sand’.
At Leeds Crown Court Barraclough was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment – suspended for two years – and 240 hours of unpaid work. He had earlier pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax, and has repaid £26,593 since being charged.
Jo Tyler, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: ‘For years, Adam Barraclough avoided paying what he owed, knowing full well that he should have registered with us.
‘HMRC is committed to unearthing individuals who do not pay their taxes, and we will prosecute those who offend. This fraudulent activity is not acceptable when the vast majority of people pay their dues and play by the rules.’