UK financial adviser banned for 'dishonest' tax returns

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UK financial adviser banned for 'dishonest' tax returns

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has banned financial adviser Anthony George from performing any regulated activity in the financial services industry on the grounds that he is not a fit and proper person as his conduct demonstrates a lack of honesty and integrity.

London- based George was director, owner and sole approved person of 4Life Financial Planning Limited (4Life), a financial adviser and mortgage intermediary based in London.

The FCA found that between 14 January 2015 and 15 May 2019 (the Relevant Period),  he deliberately submitted false information to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by understating the income in his self assessment tax returns over a 5-year period.

George further demonstrated a lack of honesty and integrity when he concealed this from the FCA, providing them with information which he knew to be false during a compelled interview.

During the Relevant Period, George did not inform the accountancy firms which prepared and submitted his tax returns that he had additional income other than that received from 4Life, namely his takings from two cash-in-hand businesses - a hair salon and a DJ business - as well as rental income which he received from letting out a room in his house.

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

George submitted the lower income tax returns to HMRC (paying lower income tax accordingly) and used the higher income tax returns as the basis of a personal mortgage application. His total income as stated in his mortgage application was £367,757 greater than the income he had declared to HMRC over the same three-year period. George also used the income figures from the lower income tax returns to claim working tax credits.