Income tax cheat guilty

A man from Castle Douglas who failed to declare almost £2 million of income received from an IT consultancy business, was found guilty this week of income tax evasion.

Stephen Maxwell, 53, from Dalbeattie, was found guilty of income tax evasion following an investigation into his business records and tax declarations by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), investigators in Leeds.

Between 1999 and 2008 Maxwell worked as an IT consultant for City of London banks. Fees were paid to companies – of which he was a hidden beneficiary – registered in Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. From 2005, the income was paid to a UK registered company which never made any tax returns.

David Odd, assistant director operations for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in Scotland, said: “This was a case of deliberate and systematic fraud. The tax system depends on people being honest but Maxwell consistently tried to conceal his income.

“Income tax fraud is not a victimless crime and HMRC takes a very serious view of anyone who acts in this manner. For anyone choosing not to pay the tax they owe, this case proves that we will vigorously pursue them and bring them to justice.”

Maxwell was remanded in custody at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court until April 26 for preparation of background reports.