Kitchen firm boss ordered to repay £270K tax

The former boss of a Derbyshire business, who tried to hide money in an offshore bank account to evade £277,616 in tax, has been sentenced and ordered to repay the stolen cash or face five years in prison

Mark Williams paid €1m (£880,000) owed to his kitchen sales firm APCA UK Ltd into a Spanish bank account between 2004 and 2010.

During a civil tax inquiry by HMRC, Williams failed to disclose the account. He then refused an opportunity to come clean about his tax affairs, declare any mistakes or irregularities and pay what he owed in full plus interest and penalties through HMRC’s civil contractual disclosure facility.

The subsequent HMRC criminal investigation found APCA Ltd had issued invoices to an Italian company for commission due on sales of their kitchens in the UK. However Williams declared no overseas income on his tax returns, nor did he reveal the existence of the bank account.

Williams resigned from his role as director of APCA UK last year. At Derby Crown Court he admitted cheating the public revenue and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to repay £269,731 within three months or face five years in prison.

Eden Noblett, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Williams thought the rules applied to everyone but him. He was offered the opportunity to put his tax affairs in order through the contractual disclosure facility. Instead he made a conscious decision not to. He could have been spared a criminal conviction had he fully cooperated with HMRC.

‘He was wrong to think he could stash money away in an undeclared offshore account and our investigation shows nobody is beyond our reach.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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