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Grantham labourer who stole more than £25,000 sentenced for tax scam

A Lincolnshire labourer who stole more than £25,000 by submitting bogus tax claims has been sentenced.

Jay Cockerill, of South Heath Lane, Grantham, submitted fraudulent Self Assessment returns that claimed he had paid too much tax in a seven-year period from 2012.

Investigators from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found the 32-year old had increased the amount he had overpaid on returns in order to claim larger repayments, pocketing £25,750 he was not entitled to.

Lincoln Crown Court (50341526)
Lincoln Crown Court (50341526)

He was registered for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), which allows contractors to pay subcontractors’ tax directly to HMRC.

Subcontractors like Cockerill then submit annual tax returns to ensure they have paid the correct amount.

Cockerill abused the system by repeatedly claiming that an increased amount of tax had already been deducted through the CIS scheme and he was entitled to inflated repayments.

He admitted the fraud at Lincoln Magistrates Court on June 3 2021 and was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday (September 1).

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Tax fraud is a serious offence and we will continue to pursue the small minority who commit such crimes.

“Anyone with information about any type of tax fraud can report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

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