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Doctor prescribed jail for £185,000 tax evasion

Press Release   •   Nov 12, 2014 18:48 GMT

A Leicestershire doctor has been jailed for 18 months for evading almost £186,000 in tax.

Michael Summer told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators that he “wasn’t good with numbers”, yet could afford private schooling, luxury holidays and extensive renovations to his home. During a four year period, he earned more than £750,000 yet declared and paid Income Tax and National Insurance on only half of it. The evasion was discovered as part of the HMRC Tax Health Plan campaign to tackle undeclared tax and income from doctors and dentists.

Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“Suppressing your true income to reduce your tax bill will not be tolerated by HMRC or the public, most of whom pay what is due, when it is due.

“Michael Summer spent vast sums on a luxury lifestyle – on his home, his holidays and even his car. We will not cease in our efforts to track down those who deliberately, and fraudulently, seek to gain a financial advantage over honest businesses. If Summer had come forward in 2010 and used the voluntary disclosure campaign to put his affairs in order, it would have been much less costly for him."

Summer worked in the private sector, preparing medical examination reports for insurance companies and the armed forces. He did this on a self-employed basis, and submitted a Self Assessment tax return through his accountant each year. In his first fraudulent return for 2008/09, he under-declared his annual income by almost £12,000, but by the time of his 2011/12 return, this figure had risen to £195,000.

Summer was arrested in February 2014, and claimed he didn’t know exactly what he was earning or spending. He did admit during questioning that he had not provided his accountant with his true income. Later, Summer admitted four offences of evading Income Tax at Leicester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on each charge, to run concurrently.

Confiscation action will follow to recover the tax that Summer has failed to pay. The court heard that he has already made a payment of £100,000, which will be held on account pending the confiscation process.

Notes for editors

1.  Michael Summer, DOB 11/06/68, of Main Street, Ratby, Leicestershire.

2.  Summer failed to declare his true income for the tax years 2008-09 to 2011-12. He under-declared his income by £11,772 in 2008-09; £103,000 in 2009-10 and £102,462 in 2010-11. He failed to declare £195,224 in 2011-12. The total Income Tax and National Insurance evaded is £185,985.

3.  Summer admitted four counts of evading Income Tax and was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday, 11 November. He will serve 18 months in prison for each offence, to run concurrently.

4.  In 2010, HMRC launched a campaign encouraging doctors and other medical professionals to declare their unpaid tax under more favourable terms. Those affected had until June 2010 to come forward. To date the campaign has raised total revenue of over £64m.

5.  HMRC’s Flickr channel

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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.