September 2, 2021 10.29 am This story is over 32 months old

Grantham labourer avoids jail despite £25k bogus tax claims

He abused the system repeatedly

A labourer from Grantham has been sentenced for stealing more than £25,000 by submitting bogus tax claims.

Jay Cockerill, 32, of South Heath Lane, submitted fraudulent self assessment returns that claimed he had paid too much tax in a seven-year period from 2012.

Cockerill admitted seven counts of fraud by false representation, Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard on June 3 this year.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday, September 1, as well as a rehabilitation programme and a four-month curfew.

Investigators from HM Revenue and Customs found he had increased the amount he had overpaid on returns in order to claim larger repayments, pocketing £25,750 he was not entitled to. This comprised of £18,942 in fraudulent repayments and £6,608 of income tax Cockerill should have paid to HMRC.

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

He was registered for the CIS, which allows contractors to pay subcontractors’ tax directly to HMRC.

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 the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.