Plumber sentenced over tax scam

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A PLUMBER who failed to pay tax for 14 years has been spared jail.

Stuart Hampton, of Low Road, Stannington, did not pay Income Tax or National Insurance during the years he spent self-employed.

He also ignored a letter from HM Revenue & Customs offering him the chance to use the plumbers’ tax safe plan.

Peter Hollier, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “As well as stealing from the public purse, Hampton also gained an unfair tax advantage over his competitors.

“We are determined to ensure everyone pays their fair share and will not hesitate to investigate those we suspect of evading tax.”

Mike Wells, HMRC director of risk and intelligence services, said: “We want people targeted to come forward and use the opportunity to put the record straight and pay any tax due on the best possible terms.”

Hampton, aged 56, was given six months’ jail, suspended for 18 months, after admitting charges of evasion of income tax.