A COMPANY finance boss has been jailed for six months for committing a tax fraud of more than £1 million.

David Paul Scott (42), of Newhall Avenue, Bradley Fold, pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to a charge of cheating the public revenue after HM Revenue and Customs officers discovered that he had deliberately falsified tax documents.

Scott was employed as the financial director of Tomlander Ltd, based in Sharston, South Manchester, which has now gone into receivership.

He used false details to apply for his employer's Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) certificate. The certificate is a respected mark in the business world, and allows companies to receive payments that have not been taxed on the condition that they make their own deductions.

But the court heard that Scott had not correctly applied for a new certificate, and without this all tax should have been paid directly to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The company benefited to the sum of £1 million because it did not pay appropriate taxes.

The other company directors were not implicated in the case.

Passing sentence last Friday, Judge Gee QC said: "The offences you committed are difficult to detect and the Revenue has to trust people in responsible positions. You displayed deliberate dishonesty, not directly to line your own pockets, but to benefit the company.

"The fraud resulted in a very substantial loss to the public revenue and the fraud is on the honest taxpayers of this country. The court has a duty to make it plain that only custodial sentences can be given to deter others from committing such offences."

Steve Armitt, of HMRC regional criminal investigations, said: "This case demonstrates how seriously HMRC takes deliberate fraud. We will prosecute whenever serious tax evasion is detected.

"This is revenue that should be going to our schools and hospitals."