DPP Business Tax

VAT Repayment Fraud

VAT repayment can become a complex matter when multiple shipments or orders of separate goods are crossing various different borders at different points in time. Business owners are expected to have a clear understanding of the amount of repaid VAT they should be due, but because of the nature of trade, mistakes sometimes happen. However, if those mistakes result in an individual being accused of VAT repayment fraud, the penalties are likely to be severe – so the services of expert VAT repayment fraud solicitors should be sought without delay.

How Can DBT & Partners Help?

The specialist team of VAT repayment solicitors at DBT & Partners have represented clients falsely accused of VAT repayment fraud for over 30 years. We understand the process of VAT reimbursement, the pitfalls along the way and the potential penalties for VAT repayment fraud that our clients may be facing.

We’ll discuss your case with you in detail, go through all the evidence you have available in order to work out what may have gone wrong and assist in any dealings you may have with HMRC – including providing them with any information they have requested. Our VAT repayment fraud solicitors will also defend you against any allegations in a court of law and work with you to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved.

Matters Related to VAT Repayment Fraud

There are numerous reasons for which you may be accused of VAT repayment fraud – for example, you may have accidentally put the wrong information on your tax documents, but on the other hand, you may have deliberately faked invoices and bank statements to gain a higher VAT repayment from HMRC. The only way for HMRC to determine the truth is to launch an investigation into your affairs in order to collect information. The earlier into that investigation you are able to provide evidence that you are innocent of purposeful wrongdoing, the lower your chances of facing penalties for VAT fraud – which is why contacting VAT repayment fraud solicitors as soon as possible is always the best approach.

Offences connected with VAT repayment fraud include:

  • Invoice and Payment Fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Taxation fraud related to crime or organised crime
  • Excise or Diversion fraud
  • Contravention of customs law
  • Theft
  • Cheating the public revenue

You may also be accused of either single-cell fraud, where an individual or business works alone to defraud HMRC, or multi-cell fraud, which refers to a group of people or businesses working together. The VAT repayment fraud solicitors at DPP Business & Tax have experience of defending clients in both sets of circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is VAT repayment fraud?

This type of offence refers to the making of false claims – and sometimes the falsification of documents or the concealment of information – in order to illegally claim back more VAT from HMRC than is truly owed to you or your company.

What are the maximum penalties for VAT repayment fraud?

Even though prison sentences for VAT-related crimes are usually reserved for exceptionally serious cases, or for repeat offenders, it’s not unheard of for the HMRC to push for imprisonment.

Penalties for VAT repayment fraud often include a fine which is calculated depending on whether any errors are accidental (usually 0 to 30% of the amount owed), deliberate (20% to 70% of the amount owed) or deliberate and concealed (30 to 70% of the amount owed).

In extreme cases, where an offence of cheating the public revenue can be argued, offenders may potentially face up to life in prison – though 17 years tends to be the maximum in practice. The severity of these punishments mean that getting in touch with VAT repayment solicitors urgently is always the best approach.

What should I do if I’ve been accused of VAT repayment fraud?

As soon as you are made aware that you are facing an investigation, you should get in touch with our expert VAT repayment fraud solicitors. Doing so at the earliest possible stage will allow us more time to research your case and put together your defence. It’s important to then gather as much evidence as possible, including accounts and invoices, to allow us to discover where any mistakes may have been made – either by your company or by HMRC. We will then be able to successfully defend you in court.

Contact a member of our friendly team of VAT repayment solicitors for more information about how we can assist you with your VAT repayment fraud case. Remember to provide as much information about your case as you can, in order for us to start building a powerful defence for you straight away.

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