Manchester accountant jailed for tax fraud

AN accountant from Levenshulme, who created fake tax returns and expense accounts to steal more than £285,000 has been jailed after he was caught by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Amjad Ali, 65, whose business was based in Longsight, used his client’s details to create fraudulent online self assessment income tax returns. In the majority of cases, he added non-existent employee travel and subsistence expenses, with some including fictitious pension details and fake self-employment work.

Ali admitted that over five years he had claimed more than £285,000 in fraudulent income tax refunds as a result of these fictitious tax accounts.

Sandra Smith, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “As an accountant, Ali was in a position of trust and well aware that he was breaking the law. This was a well-organised, professional attempt to manipulate the UK tax system in order to steal money that should have been funding public services.

On 24 May 2016, Ali entered a guilty plea in respect of 42 clients and admitted he stole £285,344.91 in false income tax repayments.

Alongside the criminal investigation, HMRC has reviewed the tax affairs of Ali’s clients. The investigation has established that more than £725,000 in tax has been under-declared or claimed fraudulently with Ali believed to have pocketed between £80,000 and £110,000 as his share or ‘fee’. The remainder is being recovered through his client’s tax bills, with HMRC ensuring the correct amount of tax is paid.

On Friday 2 September, Ali was jailed for 43 months at Manchester Crown Court.

Related reading