Our solicitors have particular expertise in defending VAT fraud. You will need an expert serious fraud solicitor to assist you if you are accused of this type of fraud. If you are experiencing VAT repayments being withheld, enquires and investigation or prosecutions in relation to MTIC (more commonly known as carousel fraud) it is important to seek specialist advice before you speak to any agency investigating you.
Investigations of this nature often have numerous aspects such as interviews under caution by the investigating body. Each agency has different powers, some wider reaching than others. Other aspects could be confiscation and forfeiture proceedings, restraint proceedings and appeals to the First Tier Tax Tribunal.
Many businesses come under VAT scrutiny; however those some businesses are deliberately targeted by HMRC. These are often the telecommunications industry, businesses selling computer components and more recently companies involved in carbon emission trading. The HMRC have put various measures into place to try and stop these activities as they occur. The reverse charging mechanism is one example. In addition the VAT charged on carbon trading certificates was changed.
This specialist type of fraud basically involves goods being imported VAT free from EU countries and sold on at VAT inclusive prices. The company at the beginning of the chain then disappears without paying HMRC the VAT charged when selling the goods on. These companies are know as ‘missing traders’, ‘hijacked traders’ or ‘defaulting traders’. The goods are then sold down a chain of companies known as ‘buffer’ companies. These companies are used to disguise the paper trail of the fraud. Finally the last company in the chain exports the goods to the EU (or elsewhere) free of VAT. As this company had already paid VAT on its purchase of the goods from the supplier the company then reclaims the VAT back. If this was a legitimate trade then a reclaim of VAT is allowable. The same goods are often imported again into the UK and the chain starts again. This is how the fraud became known as a ‘carousel fraud’ due to the same goods going round again and again.
Cases involving MTIC fraud are complex often due to the number of businesses involved in the chain and the trading relationship. It can be difficult to unravel and demonstrate what has occurred and what has knowingly occurred in relation to VAT. The issue of knowledge is extremely important.
Our fraud team has extensive experience in dealing with those facing prosecution and trial for large scale carousel fraud. Defendants could face lengthy terms of imprisonment if convicted and action under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Trials often last several months, creating havoc for individuals and businesses facing these allegations. We have detailed knowledge of the legislation and compliance requirements relating to this area and our team are highly skilled at proactively defending these charges, particularly conspiracy to defraud or conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty’s Revenue.
Nick Freeman is quite possibly the most famous criminal solicitor practising in the Country today. Dubbed by the media as “Mr Loophole” his reputation rose as an expert road traffic lawyer through his client list of famous sports personalities and celebrities.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg for Nick and his team of highly experienced criminal solicitors. Freeman & Co. have successfully represented people charged with a wide range of criminal offences ranging from assault to fraud, from rape to theft.
Nick has a singular mind to all his cases and challenging the details of every case is an ethos that pervades Freeman & Co. as a whole.
From the first police station interview to fighting your case through the courts, Freeman & Co. provide seamless representation and dedicated client care that is second to none.
Being charged with a criminal offence of any kind will be a daunting experience. Freeman & Co. are a specialist from of criminal solicitors who understand their clients’ needs and the overwhelming need to get the best possible result in all the circumstances.
If you are, a family member to friend have been charged with a criminal offence you can call Freeman & Co. today on 0161 236 7007. You can also send us a confidential email by clicking here.
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