Property Tax Taskforce Sends Haulier to Jail

An Essex businessman was investigated by HMRC’s Property Tax Taskforce – after they identified that he had sold a property but not declared the capital gain.  This led to an in-depth investigation into his businesses.  The tax inspectors discovered tax frauds and decided to prosecute.  He was found guilty of Common Cheat, and last week was sentenced to 4 years in prison at the Old Bailey.

Millionaire businessman Peter Charles Duffield had sold a property but did not declare the capital gain.  HMRC’s property Tax Taskforce examines registers of property sales and lettings (and other information), and compares them to tax returns.   They realised that Duffield (aged 62, from Orpington) had not submitted any tax returns. The tax investigators then soon discovered that he ran two profitable businesses – a 50-fleet haulage business in Essex and a shooting club in Dartford and had a total of 3 undeclared capital gains on property disposals.  The total value of his tax fraud was £1,364,813.

Duffield was found guilty of Cheating the Public Revenue, contrary to Common Law at the Old Bailey and yesterday was sentenced to four years: two in prison and two on licence.

HMRC said that: “Taskforces bring together various HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for intensive bursts of activity targeted at specific sectors and locations where there is evidence of a high risk of tax evasion and fraud. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.  Since May 2011 they have brought in more than £540 million”.

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