A FORMER chairman of Wrexham FC jailed for fraud has been helping fellow inmates to gain tax rebates.
Paul Retout, 53, was a partner at London-based Quadrangle Group LLP, where he was in charge of finances, when he submitted invoices for work he had not done between 2007 and 2008, frauduently claiming £60,000.
He was sentenced to 16 months in custody last October for committing fraud against the company. He was released from jail in March on licence.
After being sent to Wandsworth prison Retout, of Ruthin, volunteered to run a taxation seminar for inmates and established there was a greater need for basic information for prisoners about tax and tax rebates.
The former chartered accountant and Reds’ chairman discovered about half of the 20 prisoners who attended his seminar were owed tax breaks or a rebate on their release.
Retout left his role as chairman of the Reds and Crusaders rugby league team in 2010 after taking a six-month sabatical from the role.
Speaking in an article with prison magazine Inside Times, he said: “What surprised me was several prisoners attending the seminar were due tax refunds and were simply not aware of the fact.”
“As the weeks passed, I found there were many more prisoners also due refunds who did not know the correct procedure to obtain them. The average refund I calculated while I was in prison was approximately £1,000.
“There is no doubt that in many instances such a refund would have a major positive impact on them and their family.
“But it wasn’t just tax refunds, as others wanted to know for instance the tax implications of running a small business and whether or not to operate as self-employed or a limited company.
“The tax questions I was asked were endless. Similar feedback awaited me when I moved to HMP Brixton.
“Prisoners going back to work as an employee should at least know how to check their tax code to ensure they are paying the right amount of tax.
“All prisoners have the right to tax planning to ensure they pay the correct amount of tax and receive tax refunds when due.”