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Derby accountant jailed for tax fraud

Press release -

Derby accountant jailed for tax fraud

An accountant from Derby has been jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to seven tax fraud offences totalling over £65,000.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found Stephen Douce, 59, who is co-director of ACA Accountancy Services Ltd (ACA) in Sunnyhill, had pocketed the VAT he had charged his clients for over five years, suppressed income on Self Assessment returns for himself and his wife, and illegally claimed tax credits for two years.

He claimed his annual household income was only £4,500 per year for both himself and his wife when in fact it was more than £56,000.

Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“As an accountant Douce 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 to pay the price for his criminal activities.

“If you know of anyone who is committing tax fraud you can report them by calling our 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

The HMRC investigation showed that between 2008 and 2013, Douce had pocketed £31,805.07 in VAT payments from his clients which should have been paid to HMRC. He also evaded Income Tax and National Insurance contributions of £18,203.79 for himself and £1,591.21 for his wife and falsely claimed £14,111.11 in tax credits.

On Tuesday 6 January, Douce was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to seven offences at a previous court hearing in 2014. Confiscation proceedings to recover the stolen money have begun.

Notes for editors

1. Stephen Jeff Douce, DOB 13/01/56, of Finsley Walk, Sunnyhill, Derby is the co-director of ACA Accountancy Services Ltd (ACA). He was jailed for 16 months at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 6 January).

2. On 25 November 2014, Douce pleaded guilty to seven counts for fraudulent evasion of VAT contrary to section 72 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, fraudulent evasion of Income Tax contrary to section 106A of the Taxes Management Act 1970 and fraudulent activity undertaken with a view to obtaining payments of tax credits contrary to section 35 of the Tax Credits Act 2002. The seven counts total £65,711.18, in tax evasion and also include charges concerning his wife’s financial claims.

3. From April 2008 to January 2014, ACA received several payments from different clients. These clients produced evidence for HMRC to show that Douce provided and invoiced taxable services to them totalling £191,609.70 including VAT of £31,805.07 which they paid. Douce submitted nil VAT returns for these transactions to HMRC and pocketed the VAT.

4. Anyone with information regarding fraud is encouraged to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or via the website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm

2. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk

3. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice.

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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.

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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.

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