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IFA offering mortgage advice banned for falsifying tax returns

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  • 27/09/2021
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IFA offering mortgage advice banned for falsifying tax returns
A mortgage adviser and IFA has been prohibited from performing any regulated activity in the financial services industry after he deliberately submitted false tax information to HMRC.

 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Anthony George, director, owner and sole approved person of 4Life Financial Planning, was not a “fit and proper person” and his conduct lacked “honesty and integrity”. 

George mainly advised on insurance and pensions and only carried out a small proportion of mortgage business. 

The regulator found that between the relevant period of 14 January 2015 and 15 May 2019, George understated the income in his self assessment tax returns for a five-year period. 

He also provided the FCA with false information during a compelled interview, which is where the regulator uses its statutory powers to call on someone who is either a suspect of a regulatory investigation or a witness from the sector. 

During the referred to period, George did not tell the accountancy firm which prepared and submitted his tax returns about his additional income outside of his work with 4Life. He received cash-in-hand takings from two of his businesses, a hair salon and DJ business and also earned rental income from a room he let out. 

George also hired a separate accountancy firm to prepare an alternative version of his tax returns which included all his sources of income for the financial years 2013/2014 to 2015/2016. 

He then submitted the lower returns to HMRC so he could pay less tax, but used the higher income tax returns for his mortgage application to obtain a loan of £630,000. 

The income stated in his mortgage application was £367,757 more than the income he declared to the HMRC over the same three-year period. He also used the lower income to claim working tax credits. 

During the tax years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, George stated that he earned £40,360 from the DJ business before it appeared to cease in April 2016. He declared earnings of £53,404 from the hair salon during the tax years 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. With a rental income of £647 a month which increased to £700 in June 2017, George declared an income of £32,713 throughout the tax years 2013/2014 to 2017/2018 for the room he let out.

The FCA withdrew his approval to perform senior management functions at 4Life.   

The regulator said: “The Authority considers that in deliberately submitting false information to HMRC and misleading the Authority, George has demonstrated that he lacks honesty and integrity.” 

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