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VAT Fraud / Carousel Fraud / MTIC Fraud

Edward Hayes Solicitors and Advocates have established themselves firmly at the top of the table when it comes to missing trader intracommunity fraud or carousel fraud as it is also known.

From both a civil and criminal defence point of view this is a highly specialised and complex area of work where only specialists should deal. We are asked to speak at national events and have been involved in some of the largest cases. We have the knowledge and skills to challenge and fight back for you.

What is carousel fraud?

In simple terms, a UK VAT registered company purchases mobile phones or computer chips, CPUs or other vatable items from another EU VAT registered country. They are not charged VAT and are expected to account for acquisition tax when they purchase the goods. However, what usually happens is that the business (typically a start up) suddenly generates turnover worth many, sometimes hundreds of millions of pounds, selling the VAT free acquisitions to UK companies and charging them VAT.

The company then disappears before it sends in its VAT return and never pays the output VAT over. The goods continue to move through a chain of transactions (buffers) and eventually are exported from the UK, ending up where they started ready to go round again. It is not uncommon to find the same goods going round and round five or six times in a few months. This is a highly simplified example - however the dangers are apparent as innocent businesses and individuals frequently become embroiled.

A number of strategies have been implemented by HMRC, many of which have impacted harshly upon innocent traders following the Bond House victory at the ECJ. Payments are being withheld leaving the only recourse to a VAT tribunal or ultimately judicial review in the High Court.

If you or a colleague or business is investigated the consequences can be catastrophic.

You should contact our specialist Fraud Department immediately.

We have experience of a vast number of MTIC cases involving various commodities including mobile phones, CPU, carbon credits, razor blades, red bull, motorbikes involving multiple international jurisdictions

  • Operation Devout I
  • Operation Devout  II
  • Operation Capri II
  • Operation Capri III
  • Operation Maypole
  • Operation Latedeal
  • Operation Drive
  • Operation Dowel
  • Operation Ghast
  • Operation Duma
  • Operation Fastback
  • Operation Vex
  • Operation Varlet
  • Operation Elemi
  • Operation Gnawed
  • Operation Hayrick
  • Operation Develop
  • Operation Vehicle

VAT and Duties Tribunal

If Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) make a decision on your VAT affairs which you disagree with, there is something that you can do about it. The first thing is to seek legal advice from experts such as ourselves. We can then lodge an appeal to the VAT and Duties Tribunal.

As with many legal processes there are strict time limits in place within which to make an appeal. It is therefore vital that you contact us as soon as possible. It is important to have matters lodged in a timely fashion in order to keep the case alive notwithstanding the fact that negotiations may continue alongside.

With the recently introduced HMRC new penalty regime, many tax payers and their advisors will undoubtedly be seeking to negotiate penalties which will be different given their behavioural nature. However, again there is a clear need to take a position by considering an early and protective appeal to ensure that problems do not materialise.

Contact Us

Tel: 01903 288850
Tel: 01243 781431
Tel:  01243 672124
Emergency: 07712 815169
Fax: 020 7427 7391

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