VAT/ Duty Fraud

VAT fraud is often a highly complex matter. It happens when a business does not charge an individual VAT when they should, or charges you VAT but does not pay it to the HMRC.

It is estimated that online VAT fraud and error cost £1 billion and £1.5 billion in lost tax revenue in 2015-16.

It is now possible for online market places to be joint and severally liable for non-payment of VAT when HMRC has informed them of an issue with the seller and no appropriate action is taken.

VAT fraud is a serious offence and would be heard in the Crown Court.

VAT offences include:

  • Cheating the public revenue
  • Conspiracy to defraud
  • Making false statements or providing false documents.

It is also possible for confiscation orders to be made under The Proceeds of Crime Act. The sentence surrounding VAT fraud could range from a suspended sentence to a 15-year custodial sentence.

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