Tax Rebates & Refunds

Barrister first to be convicted in HMRC VAT tax fraud crackdown

February 12, 2013
Posted in Fraud — Written by Chris

A seemingly reputable London-based barrister has been the first to be convicted of tax fraud since HMRC launched its new crackdown on tax evasion and fraud.

Rohan Pershad, a 44-year-old barrister from a respected London chambers, was prosecuted as part of a new HMRC taskforce targeting lawyers who evade tax, after he was found to have netted a “private tax-free income of £600,000″ over a period of 12 years.

Mr Pershad, who as a barrister is self-employed and is responsible for his own tax affairs, was deregistered for VAT back in 2000 after he repeatedly failed to submit tax returns and let HMRC know of changes in his circumstances.

Being deregistered meant that he was not allowed to trade above the threshold for VAT, but Mr Pershad nonetheless increased his income above the registration limit. He used his invalid VAT number on invoices so that he could collect VAT on fees whilst avoiding giving any of the money to HMRC.

Blackfriars Crown Court has now heard that Mr Pershad evaded tax for around 12 years, using the money he should have paid in tax to pay for luxury houses and private school fees for his children. He will be sentenced soon, but HMRC will in the meantime try to claim a tax rebate of its own by attempting to recover the tax Mr Pershad should have paid.

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