North Yorkshire man cheated tax man out of more than £300,000

·2-min read
Bank notes <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Bank notes (Image: Newsquest)

A NORTH Yorkshire businessman who cheated the tax man out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been allowed to keep his freedom.

Brooke Morrison said that accountant Charles Michael Anthony Brown, 58, declared his company MB Tax Solutions dormant and not operating when it was in reality receiving £841,000 in revenue and paying dividends to him.

As a result, he  didn’t pay more than £400,000 in different taxes which he should have done over a five year period.

Nick Worsley, defending, said the figure was £311,000, taking into account travel and possibly accommodation when Brown was working in Shropshire.

“He has lost his reputation, he has lost his professional reputation, and he has lost his career,” said Mr Worsley.

Brown advised other people on how to run their tax affairs “efficiently” but did not do so himself, said the defence barrister.

Brown, of Main Road, Hirst Courtney, Selby, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue, evading VAT, and two counts of fraud by failure to disclose his income tax and National Insurance liability.

He was given a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years on condition he does 200 hours’ unpaid work and five days’ rehabilitative activities.

He will face asset confiscation proceedings next winter when HM Revenue and Customs try to regain the amount the prosecution says he has not paid. Prosecution and defence agreed he should be sentenced on the basis of the defence figure.

Judge Simon Hickey rejected the defence claim that the tax evasion was “unsophisticated” and the result of “panic”.

“It was deliberately done and it continued to be done,” he said.

After discussing the mitigation and a recent case before the Court of Appeal, he said: “With some hesitation I draw back from immediate custody”.

Ms Morrison said Brown was the sole director of the company which he set up in 2010 and declared dormant between 2013 and 2018.

During that period he repeatedly sent in nil tax returns for the company.

The company should have paid £142,000 in corporation tax and VAT of £120,000.

Brown himself should have paid income tax and National Insurance totalling £142,000 over the same period.

The judge said Brown would have received dividends of £839,520 that he didn’t declare in his self-assessment tax returns.

Mr Worsley said Brown had co-operated with the taxman from the moment he received a message asking him to attend for a voluntary interview.

But a year later, HMRC had staged a dawn raid on his village home, and among the items taken were jewellery and other things that the defence barrister said belonged to Brown’s wife and another person.

Brown had lost his professional qualification, but had set himself up in business working on property portfolios and could repay all the money with the help of a loan from a friend.

He was remorseful for his actions.