Jonathan Vowles Chartered Accountants

01234 752 566


Even The Taxman Likes Puppies!

But they don't like black market breeders ...

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As a Government department, you would think HM Revenue & Customs an unlikely place to find puppies, but actually they have spent the last 3 years chasing down tax avoiding black-market puppy breeders, dealers and importers ...

HMRC is acting as a force for good by going after black market puppy breeders, dealers and importers!

HMRC is acting as a force for good by going after black market puppy breeders, dealers and importers!

photo by nathaniel bowman on unsplash

In October 2015, an HMRC taskforce was set up to instigate a multi-agency approach; investigating puppy breeders for tax avoidance and then involving the police, Scottish SPCA, English RSPCA and Irish SPCA where appropriate.

"It's the government's own puppy patrol!"

Personally, I think that this is a fantastic example of HMRC being used as a force for good. As a taskforce, it hasn't recovered as much tax as some of the other taskforces HMRC have set up, however, what it has done very well is to become a force for improving animal welfare.

They have uncovered several cases of fraudsters selling illegally imported puppies and other cases of appalling animal welfare. This had led to prosecutions and to the rescue of many young dogs.

"If you have any information about a suspect puppy breeder, dealer or importer then please contact HMRC's helpline on 0800 788 887!"

Financially, they have only recovered £5.3m from 257 cases, a handful of which have been tax bills between £100,000 and £500,000. Clearly, puppies are big business. By comparison, HMRC's Let Property campaign averages £20m each year since being set up in 2014.

What lessons can we learn from this story? Well, firstly, don't be an illegal puppy breeder, dealer or importer. Secondly, if you haven't told HMRC about something then now really is the time to get it off your chest and, with the assistance of your accountant, to regularise your tax affairs.

"Would you like to know more?"

Let us help you to 'fess up, or, to help resolve your investigation. If you need help telling the taxman that you have undeclared income or, if you have already received that little brown envelope and are in the throes of a tax investigation, give me a call on 01234 752 566 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Jonathan Vowles ...

I've been an accountant in and for business since 1987 and have a wide experience of consultancy, audit, accounts, taxation and wealth planning work from individuals and small businesses to multinational corporations and charities.

My eclectic interests in growing and developing business span a number of areas, which can be summarised as strategic business advice and tax saving advice.

I have worked with the Chamber of Commerce to deliver courses for people about starting up in business and have lectured about tax for a major accountancy practice and for Milton Keynes College.

I relax by reading fiction and by getting away from the office in a campervan.


01234 752 566