As a Tax Barrister I have seen quite a lot of VAT dodgy dealing and, indeed, defended good citizens against allegedly dodgy VAT claims from HMRC.
I see that this week that HMRC caught up with Ms Allison Hawksworth who was sentenced by Judge Jane Miller to 12 months imprisonment, of which she will serve 6 months.
Her VAT fraud was to the value of some £290,000 and went on for around 10 years. Essentially, Ms Hawksworth claimed back VAT from HMRC on materials from suppliers for children’s clothes, for which there is no VAT.
Ms Dawn Hyland, prosecuting for HMRC , said of the VAT claims: “The figures were not simply inflated. There was no business running and her bank statements show no business transactions.”
Judge Miller said: “You are a 61-year-old lady of previously good character. Sadly, there is no money which can be claimed back. You told the probation officer that you were operating in a haze, that you did not know what you were doing. That I cannot accept.”
I’m sure tax fans will join me in wishing Ms Hawksworth well and back on the straight and narrow soon.
Tax Barrister, Accountant