COP9 Refusenik Accountant Jailed

An Essex based tax cheating Chartered Certified Accountant has been jailed for 4 years – for fiddling his own tax returns and defrauding HMRC of over £100,000 in Income Tax.

Abdul Aziz Patel (aged 54) was a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant, trading in Ilford, Essex as AAUP and Adam & Fleming, from April 2005.  But he did not register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – and failed to declare his £430,000 of professional earnings and rental income.

Patel frequently told clients to pay him cash: saying that otherwise: “HMRC will see the profit made and I would have to pay tax”.

He was offered the opportunity to avoid prosecution by making a full disclosure under the terms of the taxman’s Code Of Practice 9: Contractual Disclosure Facility.   But rather than grasp that chance he ignored all HMRC’s letters – giving them little choice but to launch a criminal tax investigation.

Patel was arrested in September 2013 and charged as a Common Cheat.
At his PACE interview Patel told the tax investigators that he had not declared his income since 2005 and that he had panicked and shredded some of his bank statements.  But later he tried to change his story by alleging that a childhood friend in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, (who had no accountancy experience), was really in control of his businesses and rental property.  Tax inspectors found Patel’s stolen tax money in a variety of bank accounts he controlled, including some he had opened in his children’s names.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Patel’s total estimated income from accountancy and property rental from April 2005 to April 2013 was around £429,000, with £107,718 tax being due.  He was found guilty of cheating the public revenue, and was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  HMRC are now taking action to confiscate the proceeds of Patel’s crimes.

What does this mean to me?
If HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service send you COP9 (under the terms of the Contractual Disclosure Facility) it means they think they can prosecute you: but they are giving you the opportunity to have a civil (i.e. monetary) settlement rather than undergoing a criminal prosecution.  Sometimes FIS get it wrong.  But you need to take this very seriously, and (as it advises in COP 9) take advice from experienced tax investigation specialists.

How can Lynam Tax Fraud Investigation Experts help me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have huge experience of successfully handling COP 9 investigations and CDF cases; relieving our clients’ stress and obtaining optimum outcomes. We can help you save tax, interest and penalties.  We can save you years of uncertainty, worry and disruption.  And we can help you avoid a criminal investigation.

PAUL LYNAM: 0845 643 9997
ANDREW NUTBROWN: 0771 877 8710
Nb. If you, or your client, have received an HMRC Code of Practice 9 you need specialist help now.  Do not delay.