A company director from Worcestershire, who claimed he failed to pay tax on account of HMRC losing his business records, has been jailed for a £160,000 tax fraud following an HMRC investigation
Craig McDougall was found to have lied about his turnover and income from his heavy goods haulage firm for more than two years. When HMRC did not receive his business records, the director blamed the department for misplacing them.
However, investigators checked his bank records against his VAT and income tax declaration and uncovered significant discrepancies. From 2011 to 2013, McDougall had made a turnover of more than £830,000 but only claimed £649,058.
McDougall also claimed his income was only £16,995 for those years, but had withdrawn more than £235,000 which he could not account for. The total amount of the fraud was £161,175.
At Birmingham Crown Court McDougall was found guilty of the fraudulent evasion of income tax and VAT, and sentenced to four years in prison.
Paul Fisher, assistant director of fraud investigation at HMRC, said: ‘McDougall was naive to think he could get away with this fraud by blaming others to cover up his deceit. He was abusing the tax system and depriving public services of vital funding to give himself an unfair advantage over his honest competitors.’
HMRC has not released the name of the haulage firm. A confiscation hearing to recover the proceeds of his crime will follow.