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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Spurway

Reverse charge VAT 2: Why it is happening

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

>> VAT Reverse Charge begins the 1st March 2021 <<

In 2019 a complex money laundering ring worth £120 million was smashed.

It's nine Berkshire based gang members were sentenced to more than 46 years in jail.

They had stolen £34 million in VAT, and laundered a further £87 million - the proceeds from selling illicit alcohol through bank accounts in Britain, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Dubai and other countries.

This is one story of many.

HMRC’s fraud investigations have led to more than 600 individuals being convicted for their part in tax crimes.

And the Fraud Investigation Service continues to bring in around £5 billion a year through civil and criminal investigations.

Such as with this example of a pair of gentlemen who were jailed for a £60 million fraudulent HIV VAT avoidance scheme.

Missing trader fraud is a simplified version of an international scam known as ‘carousel fraud’.

But whereas carousel fraud operates across country borders – exploiting the import of VAT-free goods from one country, then selling them on to a series of companies, and possibly even back to the original seller – missing trader fraud is confined to the UK.

Those 'Missing' traders being the ones who do not pay VAT liabilities for the taxable supply of goods, made in the UK.

These are just a small handful of examples to highlight to you the reason the Reverse charge VAT scheme is coming into effect.

The aim is simply to make it harder for organised criminals to take advantage of the loop holes in the tax system.

If you would like to know about what the Reverse charge VAT scheme is and what is changing, don't forget to check out our blog.

Or take just 2:09 to watch our video on the topic.

Best, Lindsey

P.S. Don't forget to check out the rest of the blogs in the Reverse charge VAT series:

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