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Liverpool accountant failed to pass on VAT

A LIVERPOOL-BASED ACCOUNTANT has been found guilty of tax fraud totalling over £64,000 after an HM Revenue & Customs investigation.

Alan Goddard – director of Alan Goddard Accountants – pocketed the VAT he had charged his clients for more than five years, and despite repeated reminders, he failed to submit returns to HMRC.

His business was registered for VAT trading in April 2008. In January 2013, HMRC wrote to Goddard under its VAT Outstanding Returns campaign to remind him to submit VAT returns. Even after a visit from HMRC inspectors to encourage him to submit his VAT returns in March 2014, Goddard failed to submit a single return but continued to trade as an accountant. The HMRC investigation showed that between 2008 and 2014, Goddard had pocketed over £64,000 in VAT payments from his clients, which should have been paid to HMRC.

On 2 October, Goddard was jailed for two years suspended for two years, given a 300-hour unpaid community work order and issued with £1,500 court costs after being found guilty at a previous court hearing. He now faces legal action to recover the stolen tax and has already agreed to repay over £64,000 pending further penalty assessments by HMRC.

HMRC fraud investigation service assistant director Sandra Smith said: “As an accountant Goddard was in a position of trust and well aware that he was breaking the law. He chose to do this for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money at the expense of UK taxpayers. He now has a criminal record and his professional reputation is now ruined.”

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