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Surrey plumber jailed for tax evasion

Press Release   •   Jul 23, 2012 15:50 BST

Melvyn Careswell (49) of Epsom set up a company, MPC Heating and Plumbing. He traded as a self employed plumber, but never registered his earnings with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Investigators discovered that over a five-year period he evaded around £50,000 of Income Tax.

Chris Martin, HMRC Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, said:

“Careswell stole from UK taxpayers by failing to pay tax due on his earnings and now he must face the consequences of his actions in jail. HMRC is clamping down on plumbers and those in other trades who attempt to commit tax evasion, and the sentence given to Careswell will act as a deterrent. I ask anyone with information about suspected tax fraud to call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

This sentencing follows a number of HMRC investigations after the analysis of data acquired by HMRC targeting plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers who failed to take advantage of the opportunity offered during last year’s Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP), to put their tax affairs in order on the best possible terms. Those who came forward have already paid over £4 million in outstanding tax.

Mike Wells, HMRC Director of Risk and Intelligence Services, said:

“We want people targeted by any HMRC campaign to come forward and use the opportunity to put the record straight and pay any tax due on the best possible terms. It really is better for people who owe tax to come to HMRC, before we come and find you.”

Careswell was arrested on 5 August 2011. He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on Friday (20 July 2012).

Confiscation proceedings are underway. 

Notes for editors

1. Melvyn Peter Careswell (23.11.62), a plumber, of 15 Poplar Crescent, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 9ER was charged with fraudulent Evasion of Income Tax contrary to the Taxes Management Act 1970.

2. He pleaded guilty to £50,000 fraudulent tax evasion and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on 20 July 2012.

3. Nearly £510 million has been raised by HMRC from voluntary disclosures, and a further £120 million from follow-up activity. Campaigns launched so far have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters, coaches and tutors, electricians and online traders. 

4. Those in the target groups wishing to let HMRC know of the intention to make a voluntary disclosure can:

  • Phone HMRC on 0845 601 2944 with details such as: name, address, National Insurance number, telephone number, date of birth and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)

5. The benefit of the campaigns is that those who make a full disclosure:

  • will be offered a simple and straightforward way to put their tax affairs right
  • may not be charged a penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10 per cent of tax owed

6. Once disclosure opportunities close, taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100 per cent of the tax unpaid or, potentially, criminal prosecution.

7. Further information on HMRC campaigns can be found at :

8. Anyone with information about suspected tax fraud can call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887

9. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

10. Images are available on HMRC’s flickr channel

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.