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18 Mar 2018

Tax fraudster in HMRC jailed

A father of three who committed an “appalling” £40,000 benefit fraud while working as a tax adviser in an HMRC contact centre in Bradford has been jailed for 20 months.

Amjad Khan, 37, evaded paying the correct amount of income tax for 13 years between 2002 and 2015, also claiming tax credits he was not entitled to between 2006 and 2015.

Prosecutor Howard Shaw told Bradford Crown Court that between December 2004 and June 2014, Khan worked with HMRC to advise people on the PAYE and self-assessment tax systems. Throughout his time in that role, he owned property which he rented out, and also started his own business as a gas and heating engineer in 2012.

Mr Shaw said that on analysing Khan’s bank accounts, it was discovered he had failed to declare any income from his properties or self-employment aside from in the 2014/15 financial year, in which he claimed to have made a loss. The records showed that he had actually made a profit each year.

After the figures had been examined by a forensic accountant, all parties in the case agreed that Khan had received £23,309 in tax credits that he was not eligible to receive.

Mr Shaw said that the prosecution found that Khan avoided paying £18,554 in income tax, with Emma Downing, defending, putting the figure at £15,791.

A hearing under The Proceeds of Crime Act to recoup the money was scheduled for September.

Mr Shaw said: “This is a case involving significant abuse of a position of trust and responsibility. The defendant worked as an adviser for the revenue. He was advising on tax matters and engaged in two tax frauds. This was fraudulent activity over a long period of time.”

Khan, from Bradford, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud.

Miss Downing said her client had lost his “good character” as a result of his offending, adding that any confiscation proceedings could put his business and family home “in jeopardy.”

She said her client’s offending was “completely out of character”, but the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, said Khan’s “very blatant” actions were a “two-pronged attack upon the revenue.”

He told Khan: “Throughout all the years you were working for HMRC, advising people of the rights and wrongs and the very nature of the tax system, you yourself were committing fraud against the state. The position you were occupying, the lies you were telling, it must fall into the higher culpability range.

“You have committed quite appalling and blatant frauds in a very determined and persistent way. The public would be outraged if the court did not deal with you in this robust way.”

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