Almost 700 tax criminals convicted in 2013

08 - 01 - 2014

HMRC investigations led to 690 convictions between January and the end of November last year.

This was the highest number of such convictions since the 2010 Spending Review and 213 more than in 2012.

Cases of complex VAT, income tax, benefits frauds and smuggling were among the investigations.

Between them, those convicted share a combined prison sentence of 355 years.

HMRC has also published the top five tax cheat prosecutions of 2013, who have a combined jail sentence of over 75 years.

Among the top tax cheats is a 21 year old man from Newry who committed £1.6m in fraud by smuggling 8.4 million cigarettes and two men in their 50s who committed excise duty and VAT evasion by smuggling illicit Italian wine into the UK.

‘Paying for their crimes’

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:

‘The Government is determined to make sure people pay the tax they owe and HMRC will come down hard on those who try to cheat the system. Honest taxpayers will be pleased that these fraudsters are now paying for their crimes.’

He added that nearly £1 billion has been invested in HMRC to tackle people who ‘fail to play by the rules’.

According to Mr Gauke, the figures released by HMRC, ‘clearly demonstrate that investment is paying off’.

‘Tax fraud will not be ignored’

Donald Toon, Director for Criminal Investigations at HMRC, said:

‘These convictions send a clear message that tax fraud will not be ignored and tax fraudsters should be very concerned. We are well on track to achieving our spending review commitment to increase the annual number of prosecutions to over 1,000 by 2014 to 2015.’

‘The vast majority of people are honest with their tax affairs, but if anyone knows of somebody evading their taxes they should call HMRC and tell us.’

To inform HMRC about customs or excise fraud or tax evasion, visit:






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