Energy Inspector Is Jailed After Vat Fraud

Date Published 28 May 2013

An energy inspector has been sent to prison for 12 months after a VAT fraud.

John Cahill, 52, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, tried to steal £47,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments and was jailed last week as part of HMRC’s crackdown on tax dodgers.

Cahill was investigated by HMRC following suspicions about the accuracy of VAT refund claims he submitted between January 2011 and January 2012.

Investigations showed that although Cahill claimed to trade as an energy efficiency inspector, his company made no sales for the period.

Cahill, of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, attempted to con £46,853 from HMRC by submitting false VAT returns claiming business expenses of around £237,000 at the 20% VAT rate. These ‘expenses’ were largely fictitious or not business-related and therefore no VAT repayments were due. The sum of £27,225 was actually paid out.

At the Central Criminal Court, London, on April 27, Cahill pleaded guilty to five counts of furnishing a false VAT return with the intent to deceive, and he was sentenced last Thursday.

His Honour Judge Pontius said: `Countless businesses honestly complete their tax returns and pay their taxes each year. You deliberately set out not to do so. This sentence is to deter others from doing the same.`

The money will be recovered by HMRC.