Pay-back time for tax-dodge builder
Date published: 30 April 2014
A FORMER Oldham builder has had more than a quarter of a million pounds confiscated after being earlier sentenced for failing to pay almost £75,000 in tax.
Peter Bell (77), of Dalefields, Delph, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax, money laundering, fraud and failing to notify the authorities of a change in circumstances.
The confiscation follows his sentence of 15 months in jail in December.
In the summer of 2012, police raided Bell’s home and found a £311,940 stockpile of cash. Bell had worked as a builder from the age of 16 and was regularly paid cash-in-hand.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) calculated Bell should have paid £74,184 plus interest of £18,000 in income tax between 2002-2012.
In 1999 Bell declared himself paraplegic after an accident which led him to claim incapacity benefit. He was back working by 2001 but failed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of the change in his circumstances. Officers calculated he received more than £42,000 in benefit.
On his 65th birthday Bell applied for pension credit, claiming less than £10,000 in savings.
Earlier this week, a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing produced an order to confiscate £142,170.06. He was ordered to repay £91,759.29 in unpaid tax. A confiscation order was made for him to repay £41,528.95 of ineligible benefits. If Bell fails to pay the £275,458.30, he will be ordered to serve an additional jail term.
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