Taxman pressures company into administration over a debt less than four months' old

The taxman put a business into administration despite its debt being run up within just a few months.

The recession was blamed for Airedale Electricals taking losses on major contracts.

'The company came under increased pressure from HM Revenue & Customs, even though the debt due to them was less than four months' old,' administrators from XL Business Solutions said.


HMRC: Pressure tactics

'Despite this [the Revenue] advised the company that unless the outstanding debt was paid, a winding up petition would be presented.'

The Revenue said: 'HMRC only initiates winding up or bankruptcy action in fairness to other taxpayers and where it believes this is the best course of action to protect the interests of the Exchequer in respect of a particular debt.

'We do not take such action lightly.

'HMRC offers a range of support to businesses in temporary financial difficulties.'

Plumber jailed for a year for tax dodge

Crackdown: Melvyn Careswell, the plumber jailed for 12 months by the HMRC for tax evasion.

Crackdown: Melvyn Careswell, the plumber jailed for 12 months by the HMRC for tax evasion.

A plumber has been jailed for 12 months for failing to pay £50,000 of income tax, as more sole traders fall victim to the crackdown on tax evasion by HM Revenue & Customs.

Melvyn Careswell had not registered any earnings from his company with HMRC, and investigators found that MPC Heating and Plumbing should have paid £50,000 of income tax and national insurance over a five-year period.

Earlier this week, Treasury minister David Gauke claimed that paying plumbers in cash was 'immoral', leading a string of politicians, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, to admit they had paid 'cash in hand'.

More than two million people make cash-in-hand payments costing the Treasury an estimated £2billion annually, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee.

While there is no law against paying someone in cash, tradesmen are under a legal obligation to disclose their earnings to the HMRC and say whether they are liable for income tax or VAT.

Careswell - 49, of Epsom in Surrey - was arrested in August last year. He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court last Friday.

Chris Martin, HMRC assistant director of 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.'