The owner of a Chinese restaurant has been awarded a three-year jail sentence after being found guilty of evading more than £1 million in tax. With restaurants in London and Portsmouth, the owner had not been declaring cash payments resulting in the failure to pay tax to the sum of £1,018,508. Both restaurants took the same approach to avoiding tax by registering as a pottery manufacturer and illustration company both with turnovers less than £10,000. The actual annual turnover of the restaurants was a combined £10 million.
Despite this, the director of the two restaurants declared just £2,100 of income on his self-assessment tax returns between December 2014 and November 2016. In February 2017 a new company took over ownership of the London outlet and mirrored the behaviour of the other companies, resulting in HMRC officers making a prompt visit. The officers claimed that the former owner was still pulling the strings of the new company from the side lines.
In March 2017 he was subsequently arrested, and his properties searched the very same day. The director admitted VAT fraud and money laundering resulting in the three-year jail sentence issued at Harrow Crown Court. HMRC will now set about recovering assets and an assistant director of the fraud investigation service said "he made millions and paid very little tax, rubbing law-abiding taxpayers' noses in it. The cash he pocketed was the equivalent to the starting salary of 130 new nurses in London for an entire year".
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