Wigan shop boss is jailed for £75k tax evasion

Fraud case
Fraud case

The owner of a Wigan town centre gift shop has been jailed for 27 months for a £75,000 tax scam.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that Claire Greenall deliberately hid sales to evade paying VAT between 2011 and 2015 despite earning more than £686,203.

The 41-year-old ran Personal Touches on Hope Street in The Galleries as well as two other stores in Blackburn and Windermere, selling fashion accessories and gifts.

Appearing at Preston Crown Court, self-employed retailer Greenall, of Rosedale Avenue, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to four counts of the fraudulent evasion of VAT contrary the VAT Act 1994.

She reappeared at the same court two weeks later to receive her prison sentence.

Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Greenall lied on her tax returns to hide her true earnings and deliberately evade VAT payments.

“Evading tax is an insult to honest taxpayers and steals money from vital public services.

“We are determined to tackle tax fraud such as this to create a level playing field for all businesses.

“If you know of anyone who is committing tax fraud you can report them by calling the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

An HMRC investigation revealed Greenall had suppressed her sales and a forensic accountant was employed to determine the scale of the fraud from her business records.