Tax dodge sees member barred

A Wiltshire accountant who issued two different sets of audited accounts for the same pig-breeding company – one for Companies House and one showing lower profits for the Inland Revenue – has been thrown out of the English ICA.

An institute disciplinary tribunal ruled that Brian Hey should be banned from membership for at least three years for acting in a manner likely to bring discredit on the profession, and ordered him to pay #1,000 costs.

The offences, which caused some #162,000 to ‘escape taxation’, were reported by a later auditor, and have also been investigated by the Revenue’s special compliance office.

Hey was the company’s audit engagement partner from 1983 to 1991 while with David Owen & Co. He permitted the issue of two sets of audited company accounts each year between 1984 and 1987 that the tribunal found contained numerous differences. Hey, now retired, is still in dispute over whether he acted on client’s instructions.

He pleaded guilty and asked the tribunal to take into account his offer to surrender his practising certificate and letters from ex-clients showing him to be highly regarded. He said he had been overworking at the time and had not recruited sufficient staff to assist him. His health had also suffered.

The tribunal said it was important to maintain the standing and reputation of the profession, and excluded Hey.

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