A builder from Belfast was sent to prison for tax fraud this week after HM Revenue and Customs’ tax inspectors found he had not properly operated the Construction Industry Scheme and was fiddling his VAT payments.
Sean Joseph Anthony Dornan, aged 25, was registered as a sole trader. He claimed to have no sub-contractors. The tax investigators realised his workload was far too much for one man and that he must have been employing other workers. But instead of registering with the taxman as a contractor and deducting tax from their pay he simply kept the tax that was due. On top of that he failed to pay any VAT: fiddling the HMRC out of £175,381. In court he pleaded guilty to being “knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT” and “cheating the public revenue”.
HMRC Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, said: “We are investing more time and effort than ever into tracking down those who attempt to rip off the tax system and anyone deliberately choosing to evade their responsibilities should expect not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”
Dornan was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment. He will serve half of the term in prison before being released on licence.
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