Law catches up with Cambridgeshire historian who failed to declare tax on earnings of nearly £1 million
- Credit: Archant
He was hailed by TV bosses as an expert mind on World War Two but historian Howard Tuck will probably best now be known for committing a massive tax fraud.
The Cambridgeshire man, who appeared in several television documentaries, has been jailed for a £115,446 tax fraud.
Tuck, 49, of Park End, Swaffham Bulbeck, failed to declare any earnings to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over a six-year period, despite having multiple jobs.
Between 2010 and 2016, while trading as Minerva Specialist Programmes, Tuck was paid £960,844 to organise historical tours and battlefield visits. He earned a further £42,683 organising school trips and working on films and documentaries.
Despite this, Tuck never registered with HMRC and failed to pay any Income Tax.
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Chris Gill, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Tuck believed that his position in society would protect him from scrutiny but he was wrong. HMRC will investigate those who break the law.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime; it deprives vital public services of much needed funds.
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“Anyone with information about tax fraud should report it to HMRC online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Tuck pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax at Peterborough Crown Court in May 2018.
Last week he was sentenced at the same court to two years and three months imprisonment.
Proceedings are underway to recover the money.
Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for History Julia Harrington who commissioned Wildfire Television to make Digging the Great Escape for a TV series, brought Howard on board for the series.
In press notes’ accompanying the series Tuck was described as “one of the world’s leading experts on the allied POW experience in WWII”.
And in 2012 Tuck was a guest of the American air force when he appeared at RAF Mildenhall for a special presentation.
The base reported that Tuck had spoken “during a prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action interactive presentation.”
Also in attendance were retired RAF Air Cdre Charles Clarke and Andy Wiseman, both former prisoners of war during World War II who were held captive in the German prison camp Stalag Luft III.
They visited Mildenhall to share their stories during Prisoner of War/Missing in Action remembrance week. Tuck gave a brief account of war events leading up to the eventual capture of Air Cmdr (retired) Charles Clarke and Andrew Wiseman, (U.S)