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Jail for Tax Fiddling Derby Accountant

January 7th, 2015

A Derby based accountant was jailed for 16 months yesterday at Nottingham Crown Court, after being found guilty of 7 counts of tax fraud.

Stephen Jeff Douce, aged 59 from Sunnyhill in Derby is the co-director of ACA Accountancy Services Ltd.   A tax investigation produced evidence that for around 5 years he was: charging clients VAT whilst failing to pay it over to HMRC; understating his income for tax and NIC purposes; and then also falsely claiming tax credits.  From 2008-2013 he pocketed £31,800 of VAT.   He falsified tax returns for himself and his wife, leading to evaded Income Tax and National Insurance contributions of nearly £20,000.  He then alleged that his total annual household income (including his wife’s) was only £4,500, when it was actually over £56,000; leading to false tax credit claims of over £14,000.

In court the taxman produced evidence from various ACA Accountancy Services Ltd clients showing that between April 2008 and January 2014, Douce had provided and invoiced services totalling £192,000, including VAT of £32,000.  Douce sent HMRC “nil” VAT returns and kept the VAT for himself.

He pleaded guilty to 7 tax fraud and tax credit offences.  He was jailed for 16 months. HM Revenue and Customs say they have commenced Proceeds of Crime Confiscation proceedings to recover over £65,000.

What does this mean for me?
This case shows that even professionals get their tax returns risk-reviewed by HMRC:  which is becoming increasingly sophisticated in the techniques it uses to select likely tax fraudsters.  And it shows that HMRC will not hesitate to use their full powers of investigation, including making third-party visits to suppliers and customers.  HMRC has increased massively the number of cases it is investigating on criminal, rather than on civil lines.  Any professionals successfully prosecuted are likely to face a custodial sentence.  However, there are methods available to make voluntary disclosures of tax irregularities in ways that can eliminate the risk of prosecution, as well as greatly reducing the civil penalties.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax disclosures and tax fraud investigations.  If you have irregularities in your tax affairs we can advise you on your best course of action.  If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure.  If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case.  We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call


Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997


Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Horsebox Owners Targeted by Taxman?

January 6th, 2015

HMRC are carrying out systematic tax enquiries into the owners of horseboxes, according to a report in today’s Accountancy Age by Calum Fuller.

Apparently there is evidence of a spate of enquiry letters from HM Revenue & Customs being sent to owners of horseboxes.  HMRC suspect that people are claiming the purchase and running costs of horseboxes as a business expense: without making the appropriate tax adjustments for private use or declaring benefits in kind.  Of course, businesses will often sponsor show-jumping and horse racing, and in particular horseboxes, in order to market their businesses.  However, the tax inspectors often suspect that the motive for the expenditure is more related to private hobbies and interests rather than being part of strictly commercial arrangements.

Top end horseboxes can costing up to £500,000.  Some businesses sponsor several vehicles.  Aside from the high running costs, significant capital allowances are often generated when horseboxes are sold; which can happen every few years.

Top 50 firm UHY Hacker Young believes HMRC suspects some farmers and rural business owners of buying horseboxes through their company, either falsely claiming the cost as a business expense for tax purposes, or failing to declare personal use of the horsebox and paying tax on it as a “benefit in kind”.

What does this mean for me?
Where errors are found in the tax reporting, HMRC will frequently allege that this is a result of failure to take sufficient care.  In those instances, HMRC can collect tax going back six years, and charge interest and penalties.  If HMRC believed that the errors are deliberate then they can go back 20 years and charge higher penalties still.  The amounts involved can be significant.  If you receive an HMRC enquiry into a horsebox issue you may want to take specialist advice.

How Can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help?

The Lynam Tax Enquiry Specialists have over 67 years of full time experience of dealing with HMRC tax investigations.  We have satisfactorily resolved a number of enquiries specifically involving horseboxes in recent years.  Typically, we have found that HMRC have not understood the business sufficiently and we have been able to negotiate highly favourable terms.

*Call today for a free and discreet initial consultation:

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

New EU Rules to End Anonymous Ownership

December 19th, 2014

The EU is going to introduce firmer rules in 2017 in order to obtain details of the owners and beneficiaries of all EU based companies and trusts; in order to prevent their use for tax evasion: according to a report in The Guardian on 19 December 2014.

The EU is going to make additions to the anti-money laundering rules, in order to create “central registers of the beneficial owners of companies, trusts and other legal entities, giving the name, month and year of birth, nationality and residency of the people who own and profit from them. Banks, accountants, lawyers, real estate agents and casinos will be required to be more vigilant about suspicious transactions made by customers”.

The registers will be open to national authorities within the EU, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.   Banks and financial institutions will get partial access in order to carry out mandatory “know your client” checks.  Partial access will also be available to anyone that who proves “a legitimate interest” in the information (e.g. journalists).

These plans are in addition to those by the following countries to create full public registers of company beneficial owners: United Kingdom, France, Denmark and The Netherlands.

What does this mean for me?
If you are the beneficial owner of shares in a so-called “shell company”, or the Settlor or Beneficiary of an offshore trust – and there are irregularities in your tax affairs related to those “secret” arrangements – then you are likely to be discovered by HMRC following the creation of these registers in 2017.  There are a number of attractive tax amnesties available at the moment, which could allow you to settle your affairs on beneficial terms.  Most of these will be closed in 2016.  You may therefore wish to take specialist advice now in order to see how you can best regularise your affairs.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?
Our Tax Disclosure Specialists have a huge amount of experience in dealing with voluntary disclosures in respect of UK residents with offshore bank accounts, companies and trusts. We have the training, knowledge, skills and deep experience to manage your offshore disclosure to HMRC.  We can reduce the stress and get the best solution for you.

To find out how we can help you and for a free, confidential and no obligation discussion, call today on:

Call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Voluntary Tax Disclosure Campaign For Solicitors

December 17th, 2014

In the latest of this series of voluntary tax disclosure campaigns HM Revenue and Customs have now targeted solicitors.  Any solicitors who have undeclared taxable income or gains can use the campaign in order to avoid prosecution and take advantage of favourable penalty terms.

HMRC have a rolling series of tax disclosure campaigns.  However, this latest campaign is a remarkable step for HMRC.  Previously the taxman has taken the view that members of the legal profession who have deliberately underpaid tax fall into the so-called “heinous” category: and were automatically considered for prosecution.  In this particular instance, HMRC are taking the unprecedented step of allowing solicitors, who have committed tax evasion, to put their tax affairs in order without the risk of criminal sanctions.

HMRC’s Head of Campaigns said: “Information gathered by HMRC has allowed us to identify solicitors who thought they could operate without declaring income and paying the taxes that others have to pay”.  Solicitors have until 9 March 2015 register for the campaign, and then until 9 June 2015 to disclose their irregularities and pay the tax, interest and penalties.

HMRC warn that: “Those who make a deliberate decision not to pay the taxes due could face a criminal prosecution.”

What does it mean for me?
If you are a solicitor and have historic tax irregularities, then this could represent a superb opportunity to put your affairs in order.  Whilst the campaign process can be straightforward there are particular issues for solicitors to consider, and you may wish to consider taking specialist advice: much as your clients take specialist advice from you.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?
Lynam Tax disclosure specialists have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax disclosures: including through the various Campaigns and also the Offshore Disclosure Facilities. We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Handyman Tax Ghost Busted

December 16th, 2014

A Norfolk handyman, who hadn’t paid any tax for 20 years, was jailed for 3 years at Norwich Crown Court today.

Tax inspectors found that 63 year old Richard Green from Great Yarmouth was offering his services as a general handyman: but could not find any trace of him in their records.  In the following tax investigation Green admitted that he had been self-employed since before 1992 – but had never registered with HM Revenue and Customs or paid any income tax or National Insurance Contributions.  He then claimed his earnings were around £15-25,000 a year.  But the tax investigators checked his bank records and discovered that his income for 2007/08 alone was almost £70,000.  The tax officers estimated he had underpaid about £170,000 in taxes.

Green was charged with Cheating the Public Revenue.  After pleading guilty he has now been sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Fiddling Notts Beautician Spared Jail

December 15th, 2014

A beautician from Nottinghamshire cheated the taxman out of more than £30,000 – by lying about her income was found guilty and sentenced last week:  but managed to avoid going to prison.

Rebecca Eddishaw, a 30 year old beautician and mother-of-one from Farnsfield, under-declared her income from renting out two properties for 4 years, in order to get away without paying £13,797 in tax.  This also involved her in a false tax credits claim.  Between 2009 and 2013 she wrongly claimed a higher rate of tax credit: getting an undeserved £16,941.

Eddishaw was charged at Nottingham Magistrates Court with 3 offences:

  • Knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax by failing to declare rental income in tax returns to HMRC;
  • Knowingly concerned in fraudulent activity undertaken with a view to obtain payment of Tax Credit by failing to declare rental income;
  • Knowingly concerned in fraudulent activity undertaken with a view to obtain payment of Tax Credit by failing to declare a change in circumstances

She was found guilty of all charges but was then given a light ticking off: her 18-month prison sentence was suspended for 18 months (meaning she doesn’t have to serve any time in prison) and she also has to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Taxman pays snitches £400K

November 25th, 2014

Last year over 90,000 contacted the taxman with tipoffs about alleged tax evasion.  And some of these informers were paid out of HMRC’s special slush fund: with the total amount paid out being over £400,000: according to a report by Kyle Caldwell, and Dan Hyde in The Daily Telegraph.

Most of the would-be informants are telephoning HMRC’s hotline: at the rate of 250 people per day!  But only a very small percentage of these receive payments: which usually range from £50 – £1,000.  It’s generally believed that the most informants are acting maliciously, and provide very poor quality, or false, information. However, HMRC clearly believe they get a lot of valuable tip-offs, as the amount they’ve paid out has gone up by more than 30% since the previous year.

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
If you are undergoing a tax investigation or a compliance check then specialist help from Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts could save your blushes and your business.  Plus, our massive experience will almost certainly save you tax and penalties as well.

*For a free, confidential chat about your tax affairs, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997
or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Tax Dodging Cop Doc Dodges Jail

November 18th, 2014

A doctor who did forensic medical examinations for the Metropolitan Police and fiddled over £300,000 of tax, was found guilty of tax fraud this week -  but got away with a slap on the wrist at Isleworth Crown Court this week.

For over 11 years, Dr Khaled Yasin, aged 64 of Pickering House, Windmill Road, Ealing, under-declared £650,000 of his income from the Met., where he worked as a Forensic Medical Examiner. He evaded £300,000 of taxes and now also owes £50,000 in interest.

His massive tax evasion was uncovered by the tax inspectors when they examined information they had gathered as part of their HMRC Tax Health Plan Disclosure Campaign.  If he had come forward and made a voluntary disclosure when was campaign running he would not have been prosecuted.  On the other hand, he would have had to pay financial penalties: which he will now avoid as he has received a criminal record instead.

He was found guilty of 8 charges of Cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law; and was given a 2 year suspended sentence and was ordered to do 200 hours of community work.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Ghost Goes To Jail

November 13th, 2014

Scott Paul Petrie registered with HMRC as self-employed, and he ran a business trading in aggregates and clearing rubbish: but he had never sent in a tax return or VAT return.  The HMRC’s Hidden Economy Team (“The Ghostbusters”) found him, and now he’s going to jail.

Petrie, aged 50 from Hertford, was challenged by the taxman’s ghostbuster team.  At first he said his cash sales for 2003-2011 were about £137,000.  The tax investigators used his bank statements to estimate that his income 2005 was over £589,000: on which he should have paid about £194,000 in Tax, National Insurance, and VAT.

He was charged with the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax, National Insurance, and VAT: and he was sentenced to 21 months in prison when he appeared at Luton Crown Court on 6 November.  A confiscation hearing to recover the proceeds of crime will follow.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

85 Countries Sign OECD Pact to Share Bank Data

November 6th, 2014

51 countries pledged to automatically swap bank data and tax information at an OECD conference in Berlin last week, as part of the recent coordinated global efforts to clamp down on tax fraud; particularly by those using offshore bank accounts to hide their wealth.

There are 51 “early adopters”: jurisdictions which will obtain and share details on bank accounts from 2017; including: the UK, most EU countries, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Mexico and South Korea.   An additional 34 countries have promised to join in after 2018; including Switzerland, Hong Kong, Monaco and Russia.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development agreement meant that “banking secrecy has had its day.”

What does this mean for me?
If you are a UK tax payer with undeclared historic tax irregularities, and an offshore bank account, then it is increasingly certain that detailed information on that account will be passed to HMRC in the next few years.  The tax authority would then carry out an investigation: possibly with a view to a criminal prosecution.  There are still opportunities under the current offshore tax amnesties to make disclosures on favourable terms.  Most beneficial of these is the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.  This doesn’t require any prior link to the principality, but the deadline for registering does expire in 2016.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?

Our Tax Disclosure Specialists have a huge amount of experience in dealing with voluntary disclosures in respect of UK residents with offshore bank accounts. We have the training, knowledge, skills and deep experience to manage your offshore disclosure to HMRC.  We can reduce the stress and get the best solution for you.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

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