Surrey plumber jailed for 12 months for tax evasion

Published:  24 July, 2012

A plumber from Surrey who avoided paying income tax for five years has been jailed for 12 months for tax evasion after investigators uncovered £50,000 of unpaid taxes.

Melvyn Careswell, from Epsom, traded as a self-employed plumber after setting up MPC Heating & Plumbing, but never registered his earnings with HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC).

An investigation revealed that Careswell evaded paying around £50,000 of income tax.

Careswell was arrested in August last year, and pleaded guilty to the charge of fraudulent evasion of income tax contrary to the Tax Management Act, 1970. He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court last Friday (20 July).

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 sentence follows a number of HMRC investigations targeting plumbers, gas fitters and heating engineers who failed to declare their earnings during last year's Plumbers Tax Safe Plan (PTSP). Those who came forward during that scheme 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.”

Confiscation proceedings are now underway to recover the unpaid taxes.