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Three Jailed for 19 years in £6.9m Tax Fraud

In the kind of of story that is becoming all too common, three businessmen have been sentenced to a total of 19 years for tax fraud.

The amount they defrauded from HMRC? Would you believe it totals £6.9m over just 2 and half years, which no doubt allowed them to live a life of luxury when they should have been paying tax.

It doesn’t matter if you are a contractor, freelancer, or self employed, make sure you get a good accountant to handle all of your finances, and then pay tax. It really is as simple as that.

Don’t get tempted into thinking you can get away with it, because ultimately when you are making millions of pounds you do attract the attention of HMRC, and if tax fraud is involved then expect to found out eventually.

The three men were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 7 years and 8 months, 7 years and 6 months, and 4 years respectively, and will now be taken away to prison to begin their sentences. Not only that, but two of the men are banned from becoming company directors for 10 years.

During the trial, it was shown the three guys used a number of different tactics to avoid paying tax, as well setting up various offshore bank accounts and companies to hide all of the money. One of the main countries money was funnelled to is Gibraltar, with one guy having £1.2m in cash there alone.

Ultimately though, investigations by the HMRC found all the money, both in the UK and abroad, and it wasn’t long until they compiled their case and brought the guys to trial.

A spokesperson for HMRC commented, “We unravelled what they’d created and they are now paying the price. No one is beyond our reach.”

While I think it’s good they are out there catching people involved in tax fraud, one area I would like to see HMRC focus their attention is bigger companies who are paying virtually no tax in the UK.

I’ve talked about this before, with companies such as eBay, Google, Microsoft and Apple, who all basically pay very little tax in the UK.

Now, I’m not suggesting these companies are doing anything illegal, because at the end of the day, it is the job of any company, contractor, freelancer or self employed person to legally pay as little tax as possible. I just think they need to investigate the tax dealings of these big companies a bit more closely.

As for the three men jailed for a total of 19 years. Well, a court has decided their punishment, and now they must serve the time because they did the crime.

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