Liverpool tax adviser jailed for £1.2m fraud after HMRC investigation

An unauthorised tax agent who enriched herself by making fraudulent repayment claims for her customers has been jailed for four-and-a-half years, following a joint investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Merseyside Police.

Lynn Wilson, formerly Karran, 46, from Fazakerley, Liverpool, ran LK Accountancy Services and secured a total of £1.2m in rebates for 150 customers, but the claims she made were fraudulent.

She instructed customers to register for self assessment and provide her with their personal details, which gave her control of their account and enabled her to submit repayment claims on their behalf.

Mrs Wilson never asked her customers to provide receipts and did not tell them the value of the claims she made in their name.

Ian Hackett, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Lynn Wilson was an unregistered tax agent who committed a brazen fraud and got found out.

“We urge anyone who is thinking of using someone to help them manage their tax affairs to read the advice on GOV.UK about appointing a tax agent.

“Anyone who wishes to report suspected fraud to HMRC should search ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK and complete our online form.”

Det Con Darren Devonport, of Merseyside Police, said: “Lynn Wilson’s actions were cold, calculating and deceitful. This fraudulent activity was quickly picked up on by HMRC and with support from Merseyside Police, a joint operation was launched into her and her accountancy firm.

“We welcome today’s result at court and hope it serves as a warning to others wanting to commit such crimes.”

Mrs Wilson recruited her customers – who were mainly plumbers and heating engineers – through word of mouth and communicated with them through a WhatsApp group. They paid her a flat fee of £150 plus 10% of the rebate claim and she earned around £191,000 in fees.

She failed to follow the rules required of fee-earning tax agents – she did not register with HMRC or report that she was acting on behalf of someone else when she completed customers’ self assessment tax returns.

Mrs Wilson denied a charge of fraud by false representation but was found guilty after a 10-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court and at the same court on September 7, 2022, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years.