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Sat September 25 2021

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Somerset builder jailed for tax fraud

26 Oct 18 An 83-year-old builder who stole almost £650,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments has been jailed after an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Derek Hole, 83, from Kingston Seymour, Clevedon is the sole director of Briar Building Ltd. Between January 2012 and September 2017 he submitted VAT returns, claiming refunds for the purchase of building supplies totalling £644,579.14.

Hole claimed his company was constructing new-build residential properties, which are generally zero-rated for VAT purposes.

However, investigations discovered that the purchases were fictitious and the claims were made up to illegally receive VAT repayments. Hole was arrested in March 2018.

Hole was sentenced on Thursday 25th October to two years and ten months in prison, when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director in HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Hole lied so he could claim money he wasn’t entitled to. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies, individuals and charities with the sole purpose of cynically lining his own pockets.

“He knew he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer.”

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