A large number of products from both within and outside of the EU are subject to import duties and VAT, and many others may be legal in one country but prohibited in another. If you are accused of illegally circumventing the payment of the aforementioned taxes, or unlawfully importing or exporting banned items or substances, it’s likely that you will be charged with excise fraud.
Depending on the circumstances, excise fraud may also be referred to as diversion fraud, illegal importation or smuggling or the illegal manufacture of excise goods.
How Can DBT & Partners Help?
DBT & Partners employ expert excise fraud solicitors with a comprehensive knowledge of this complicated field of law. We will carefully study all aspects of your individual case and help you to prepare a powerful defence. We’ll also represent you at hearings and ensure that all the facts are heard and considered so that the most just and fair conclusion can be brought.
Matters Related to an Excise Fraud Charge
Those arrested for excise fraud may be accused of:
- Tax fraud
- Diversion fraud
- Illegal manufacture of excise goods
- Contravention of customs law
- VAT, Invoice and Payment Fraud
UK excise fraud sentencing guidelines are particularly strict, so the engagement of expert excise fraud solicitors should be your first step upon learning of any accusation of this kind against you.
It’s highly likely that your goods will be seized if you are part of an excise fraud investigation, and your legal advisors are likely to be able to assist in this instance as well.
A significant area of excise fraud is diversion fraud. There are two types of this kind of offence – outward and inward – both of which constitute areas of expertise for DPP Business & Tax’s specialist diversion fraud solicitors. This offence usually relates to goods currently under duty suspension.
Outward diversion fraud refers to the shifting of goods being warehoused in the UK that are (according to their relevant Accompanying Administrative Document) officially set for export to another EU country into the UK market.
Inward diversion fraud involves goods that have been imported from an EU country to an excise warehouse in the UK and are then illegally distributed throughout the UK market.
Excise Fraud: Frequently Asked Questions
What is excise fraud?
Excise fraud may refer to the illegal evasion of import duties or VAT at customs through the dishonest or deceitful diversion of goods into the UK market while under temporary duty suspension. It may also refer to the illegal manufacture of excise goods or the importation or exportation of prohibited items.
What constitutes excise fraud?
A person is likely to be found guilty of excise fraud if they are proven to have behaved deceitfully, dishonestly and with intent to evade excise duties and circumvent customs law. Depending on the seriousness of the case, this offence may lead to seven years in prison or more, so it’s important for the accused to seek the assistance of experienced excise fraud solicitors or diversion fraud solicitors at their earliest convenience.
What is the maximum penalty for excise fraud?
While you may be fined if your offence is considered less serious, UK excise fraud sentencing guidelines state that – if the perpetrator is indicted – the maximum penalty for outward excise diversion fraud, as well as inward diversion fraud, usually stretches to five years in prison, though it can be as much as seven. If yours is a summary case, however, the maximum penalty for inward diversion fraud, along with its outward counterpart, will not exceed six months’ custodial sentence.
For the smuggling of prohibited goods and the illegal manufacture of excise goods, the sentence can reach 14 years’ jail time depending on the nature of the goods themselves.
Good diversion fraud solicitors will be able to help you prove that you were not aware that your activities were illegal, or to argue that you were not involved in any intentional circumvention of customs law whatsoever, as long as you are able to provide them with as much evidence as you are able to obtain. The excise fraud solicitors at DBT & Partners will help you to navigate all of the obstacles in your way and guide your case to a satisfactory conclusion. Contact us today.
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