Bookmaker pays price for dishonesty

Posted: 14th September 2012

The First Tier Tribunal has emphasised the importance of honest dealing with the tax authorities in upholding a £26,000 demand for back-tax and penalties imposed on a bookmaker who fraudulently under-stated his income to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

A tax inspection had revealed that the bookmaker’s lifestyle did not match his declared income from his business. HMRC estimated his personal spending at almost £40,000 in a single year, more than £13,000 above his declared income from all sources, including benefits, and a tribunal judge has now rejected his plea that his own success as a gambler explained the difference.

Following the investigation, the bookmaker was issued with a demand for £17,508 in income tax, national insurance and general betting duty for the three years 2006-2009 as well as penalties totalling £9,162.

Tribunal Judge, Jonathan Cannan, rejected the bookmaker’s appeal against those bills after finding that his failure to declare his true business income was ‘fraudulent and deliberate’. He said that the bookmaker’s failure to keep adequate business records had given him ‘the opportunity to suppress his takings’ and that this was ‘a matter of design rather than inexperience or carelessness’.