A Liverpudlian tax evader, who had absconded to Benidorm to escape from the taxman, came back to watch Everton play, was arrested at the match, and has now been jailed for 18 months.
Damian O’Hagan (aged 60) ran Foodservice Interim Management Limited. The company was not registered for VAT, but nevertheless charged VAT to its customers. A routine VAT Inspection by HM Revenue and Customs showed that O’Hagan had pocketed £91,700 of VAT he had charged one client from 2009 to 2014.
When he realised HMRC’s investigators had discovered his tax fiddle he fled to Benidorm to run a bar. But he couldn’t resist coming back to the UK to watch Everton in August 2015; where he was arrested at the turnstile.
O’Hagan was sentenced to 18 months in jail, after pleading guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Value Added Tax. He now faces a full confiscation hearing to recover the stolen VAT.
What does this mean for me?
If you are subject to a routine inspection or compliance check by HMRC, and there are tax irregularities in your personal affairs or those of your business, then you may want to consider making a voluntary disclosure in order to avert the risk of criminal prosecution by HMRC, and also to substantially reduce the penalties. As can be seen in this case, HMRC have significant resources and are relentless in tracking down tax evaders. Once the taxman has you in his sights then the tactics of burying your head in the sand, or running away, are unlikely to succeed.
How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
HMRC uses specialist investigators to examine business affairs. Our experts are also specialists: devoting 100% of their time to managing tax enquiries on behalf of grateful clients. If you are subject to an HMRC compliance check or investigation why not take advantage of a free initial telephone conversation consultation with an expert?
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710