Five people from Liverpool have been arrested on suspicion of failing to pay any personal or business taxes. The three men and two women, who ran a bar and a garage in Liverpool, are also believed to have received over £250,000 in unemployment benefits.
One of the women, the mother, was arrested yesterday at Manchester airport as she returned from a trip to the United States. Three other family members and a friend were arrested last week after an investigation into tax and benefit fraud by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The five are suspected of fraudulently claiming £250,000 in benefits while running a licensed bar and MOT garage and renting out properties but failing to pay any VAT, Income Tax or National Insurance.
HMRC officers searched six premises in Liverpool and seized business and personal records and cash.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“HMRC investigators, DWP and Liverpool City Council are working together to identify benefit fraud and associated tax evasion by individuals and businesses who think they can live and operate outside the law. These people failed to pay any taxes but had no issue claiming benefits they weren’t entitled to, at the expense of honest taxpayers.
“The message is clear - if you choose to defraud the tax system or claim benefits you are not entitled to, we can and will track you down. If you know anyone who is evading their taxes, you can tell HMRC via the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
The five arrested have been bailed until August.
Note for editors
1. Those arrested include:
· a married couple aged 65 and 59;
· their daughter aged 35;
· a son, aged 45; and
· a male, aged 46, (former partner of the daughter).
2. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
3. Follow us on Twitter @hmrcgovuk
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.