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Businessman jailed for VAT fraud

An Essex businessman is facing two years in jail after being found guilty of VAT fraud over a nine-year period.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) caught up with Patrick Larkin, who was funding a comfortable lifestyle, and will now have to repay £270,000 or face an extra three years in prison.

While the overwhelming majority of small businesses pay the right amount of tax, any firm in doubt about their obligations should speak to a specialist tax advisory firm.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation at HMRC, said: "It is just not acceptable in this day and age to avoid paying your dues. This sentence will send a clear message to all tax fraudsters - it is not a matter of if you will be caught, but when."

It comes after the department set up three more taskforces in the last week to focus on the tax affairs of specific industries.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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