A Kent courier who failed to pay more than £325,000 in VAT has been sentenced to two years imprisonment after admitting he fabricated his accounting figures in a bid to avoid paying HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Anthony Hyde, 51, from Aylesford, who operates TK Courier Services, registered for VAT in 2007. After he avoided meetings with HMRC, compliance officers discovered that for five years he had deliberately misreported his figures to avoid paying tax.
He was told by HMRC that he owed £325,623 in VAT, and was later charged with fraudulently evading VAT. He subsequently pleaded guilty.
Alan Tully, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“Anthony Hyde ran a relatively successful business, but once he began deceiving HMRC it became very difficult to stop. By the time he admitted his crimes, he had been lying for more than five years, incurring a huge debt.
“It is simply not fair for some people to operate at an unfair advantage by failing to pay the taxes that other legitimate businesses have to pay. We are focusing more effort than ever on stamping out this type of fraud, and will not hesitate to take action against cheats.”
At Maidstone Crown Court yesterday, Hyde was sentenced to two years imprisonment. He will serve one year in prison and one year on licence.
Notes for editors
1. Anthony Hyde, DOB 04/08/63, of Masefield Road, Larkfield, Aylesford, Kent.
2. Hyde admitted the fraudulent evasion of VAT at a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court in
August 2014. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment at the same court yesterday
(29 September 2014). He will serve one year in prison and one year on licence.
3. Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in this type of fraud can call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or report it online at www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm
4. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
5. Follow us on Flickr: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.