IT consultant remanded after £2 million tax evasion case

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A MAN who hid almost £2 million of income from his IT consultancy business was found guilty  of income tax evasion yesterday.

Stephen Maxwell, 53, from Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway, was found guilty of income tax evasion following an investigation into his business records by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The tax cheat was remanded in custody at a sheriff court, and HMRC says he cost the exchequer £635,015 between 1999 and 2008.

Between 1999 and 2008 Maxwell worked as an IT consultant for City of London banks.

Fees were paid to companies, of which he was a hidden beneficiary, registered in Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

From 2005 the income was paid to a UK registered company which never made any tax returns.

He failed to declare nearly £2 million of income, HMRC said.

David Odd, Assistant Director Operations for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in Scotland, said: “This was a case of deliberate and systematic fraud.

“The tax system depends on people being honest but Maxwell consistently tried to conceal his income.

“Income tax fraud is not a victimless crime and HMRC take a very serious view of anyone who acts in this manner.  For anyone choosing not to pay the tax they owe, this case proves that we will vigorously pursue them and bring them to justice.”

Maxwell was remanded in custody at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court until 26 April for preparation of background reports.

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