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Plumber jailed for 12 months after admitting tax evasion

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A plumber was jailed for 12 months yesterday for evading £91,000 of income tax and NICs during 10 years of trading.

HMRC opened enquiries into the tax affairs of hundreds of plumbers who failed to take advantage of its Plumbers Tax Safe Plan last year. David Michael Williams, aged 53, of Walton Close, Rowley Regis, Sandwell in the West Midlands was arrested after an HMRC investigation uncovered ‘thousands of pounds in cash’ at his home.

Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: ‘Today’s sentencing is a result of our drive to clamp down on tax evasion committed specifically by plumbers, gas fitters, heating engineers, electricians and others who fail to declare their earnings and pay the right tax. Tax evasion deprives our country of vital resources and gives tax cheats an unfair advantage over their business competitors so we will not hesitate to investigate those we suspect of evading tax. I would ask anyone with information about people who may be involved in tax evasion to contact the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.’

Williams pleaded guilty to charges of evasion of income tax, contrary to the Taxes Management Act 1970, HMRC said. Nine more plumbers have been arrested and investigations are ongoing.

‘Campaigns launched so far have produced yield of over £500m from voluntary disclosures, and over £110m from non-compliance follow up from a large numbers of civil interventions, including over 16,500 completed investigations. There are also 13 criminal cases underway,’ HMRC said on its ‘Campaigns news and updates’ page.