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Two men charged with £1 million gift aid tax relief fraud

19/08/2013

Jaswant Narwal, deputy head of fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, we have authorised charges against two individuals in connection with an alleged tax relief fraud that, potentially, could have cost the public revenue in the region of £1m.

"It is alleged that, between 29 March 2004 and 16 February 2007, Edward Watkin Gittins, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an Isle of Man resident, and Martin Calcutt, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, cheated the public revenue by abusing tax relief that allows individuals making gifts to charity to offset the market value of the gifts against their tax liabilities. It is alleged that Mr Watkin Gittins designed the scheme while he and Calcutt both implemented it.

"It is also alleged that forged documents were supplied in order to induce HMRC to grant their claim for tax relief.

"Edward Watkin Gittins and Martin Calcutt each face a charge of Cheat contrary to Common Law. Mr Calcutt faces an additional charge of forgery, contrary to section 1 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

"This decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"Both individuals have been summoned to appear before City of London Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

"Edward Watkin Gittins and Martin Calcutt are now the subject of criminal proceedings and have the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Ends

Notes to Editors

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