Scaffolder jailed for fraud

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A self-employed scaffolder from Sunderland who evaded payments of £56,000 in VAT and income tax has been jailed for nine months following an HMRC investigation report Northampton accountants Harris & Co

Joseph Dellett was declared bankrupt in 2007 with debts of over £70,000. However, HMRC officers found that he continued to operate ‘below the radar’, without registering as self-employed or completing any income tax self assessments.

HMRC said Dellett worked as a sub-contractor for a number of companies in the Sunderland area, charging his customers VAT, but never submitted a VAT return. Officers calculated that over a four year period Dellett avoided paying more than £38,000 in VAT and £18,000 in income tax and national insurance contributions.

Jo Tyler, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: ‘The vast majority of businesses play by the rules but Dellett chose to evade the taxes he should have been paying. People who attempt to run a business or work in the black economy should take notice, we can and will track you down.’

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