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Killer car dealer wins HMRC VAT battle from jail


The former owner of Bolton’s IGW car dealership group has won a £310,000 VAT battle with the HMRC from his jail cell while serving a life sentence for the 2011 murder of his wife.

Ian Workman, of Turton, Lancashire, is not eligible for release until 2029 at the earliest after stabbing his wife Sue through the heart at their luxury home in April 2011 but managed to give evidence in a case which has seen him secure a VAT rebate, the Lancashire Telegraph has reported.

The 64-year-old former car dealer, who gave evidence to a tribunal via video link is not expected to get the full amount ruled upon, however, with his final reward yet to be determined. 

Workman is one of a number of motor traders who took on the HMRC after being incorrectly charged VAT by on demonstrator vehicles, for employees and directors, or courtesy or hire cars.

The Lancashire Telegraph said that Workman had claimed to be owed the money on 316 Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Hyundai cars used by his company between 1979 and 1996.

The HMRC argued only 76 vehicles were affected, but Judge Jonathan Cannan ruled that 111 cars would have been eligible under the claim, when the business was at its peak.

He told the tribunal his figures were based on the vehicles being replaced three times a year, and not four, as Workman had contended.

Workman's successful court bid comes a year after the BBC reported on a failed High Court battle for damages in which he claimed that his solicitors' negligence had robbed him of a "substantial chance" of being acquitted.

Three years ago Workman was ordered to pay two of his sons, Ben and Nicholas, £1.5m after he had killed their mother during a divorce row.

It was successfully argued that he would have stood to profit from killing their mother if he had been allowed to keep the sum.


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