In the Media

Tax boss charged with alleged ?5m HMRC fraud

PUBLISHED October 31, 2011

Andrew Meeson, who recently resigned as Association of Taxation Technicians president, is among four facing allegations A former president of one of the UK's largest tax bodies has been charged with a ?5m tax fraud. Andrew Meeson, until last week the president of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), was among four people charged yesterday with conspiracy to cheat the Inland Revenue. It is as yet unclear exactly what HMRC is accusing the four of doing. Meeson, 50, from Wolverhampton, and his colleagues Peter Bradley, Alison Bradley and Steven Price all ran a company which provided administration services for pension schemes. Tax advisers pointed out that tax benefits relating to pension schemes are very heavily regulated by the tax authorities. Simon De Kayne, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: "Today four people have been charged linked to what we believe is a fraud resulting in over ?5m being stolen from public funds. We are committed to bringing such cases to the courts and depriving those involved of the proceeds of their crime." Meeson resigned from his role at the ATT last week, saying he was standing down "for personal reasons relating to an HMRC investigation of a pension scheme administered by my company, Tudor Capital Management [TCM]. "HMRC believe that the trustees of that scheme have acted fraudulently, and that TCM is also involved. I and my colleagues at TCM reject these allegations in their entirety and we will be fighting hard to clear our name. Nevertheless the case now looks likely to come to court in the second half of 2012. Given this, it is proper that I stand down from the presidency and trusteeship of the ATT." The four were arrested last year in dawn raids at both residential and business premises in the West Midlands, Derby and Leicester, HMRC said. They will all appear before Birmingham crown court next week. The ATT, founded in 1989, has 7,000 members and 4,000 students, and provides what is regarded as a junior tax qualification. The association describes itself on its website as "the leading professional body for those providing tax compliance services and related activities in the UK". ATT members will often go on to take the senior tax qualification, the CTA, through the Chartered Institute of Taxation. There are around 80,000 firms and advisers registered with HMRC able to file tax returns on behalf of clients. ATT deputy president Stuart McKinnon is currently carrying out Meeson's role as president, and the ATT's advisory committee has recommended to the body's council that McKinnon should take over ? it will vote on this appointment in December. The pensions regulator suspended Tudor Capital Management Ltd from acting as trustees from pension trust schemes at the time of the arrests last year. Tax Crime Alex Hawkes © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds