Carousel fraud, otherwise known as Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud, is the process of buying products without paying VAT – for example, by taking advantage of the free movement of goods between EU member states – then selling those products within the UK market and charging the VAT that was never paid to HMRC in the first place, thereby making an illegal profit.
Because it is a relatively complex offence, many traders may accidentally commit carousel fraud without being fully aware that what they are doing is, in fact, illegal. If you have been accused of MTIC fraud, it may have come as a surprise. As soon as you are made aware that you are being investigated, it’s vital that you get in touch with specialist Missing Trader Fraud solicitors at your earliest convenience in order to avoid severe carousel fraud penalties.
How Can DPP Business & Tax Help?
The specialist carousel fraud solicitors employed by DPP Business & Tax have over 30 years worth of experience in successfully representing clients who have been falsely accused of fraud. We understand that in many cases, those who have been accused of Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud have had goods seized at customs and may have had their assets frozen, and simply wish to continue with their work without facing MTIC penalties that they should not have to pay.
Our experts have extensive knowledge of the inner workings of the VAT and duties systems within the UK, and can help you to build a defence that will ensure the very best possible result, so you can go back to making a living.
Matters Related to MITC & Carousel Fraud
Those facing MTIC fraud penalties may have been accused of:
- VAT, Invoice and Payment Fraud
- Tax fraud
- Taxation fraud related to crime or organised crime
- Excise or Diversion fraud
- Contravention of customs law
- Cheating the public revenue
As with any taxation related offences, carousel fraud penalties are very tough as a result of a government crackdown. Because this particular offence often occurs in connection with organised crime, it’s important to contact missing trader fraud solicitors as soon as you’re aware of any problem or you may face tough punishments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is carousel fraud?
The term “carousel fraud” is also known as MTIC or missing trader fraud. It refers to the criminal act of importing goods VAT free – either under a temporary duty suspension or as the result of the free movement of goods between EU member states, for example – and then charging VAT on the same items to their customers in the UK market, subsequently “vanishing” with the 21% VAT. This is why they are known as “missing traders”.
How does carousel VAT fraud work?
Carousel fraud or MTIC fraud is often linked with organised crime, which is why it’s vital to contact missing trader fraud solicitors if you believe you have been accused of this offence. Here’s an example of how it is often accomplished:
Stage 1: Group A in Germany sells a box of goods to Group B in the Netherlands. No VAT is charged as VAT is not applied to trading between EU countries.
Stage 2: Group B then sells the goods to Group C within the country. Group B applies VAT to the goods at 21%.
Stage 3: Group B should declare the VAT charge but doesn’t. This is ‘missing trader fraud’.
Stage 4: Business C can deduct the VAT off his next VAT return. He sells the goods to Group D and charges VAT.
Stage 5: D can now sell the goods back to Group A across the border and not charge VAT.
What is the maximum penalty for carousel fraud?
The severity of MTIC fraud penalties usually depend on the nature of the offence in question. If the perpetrator has a long history of committing similar acts, the amount to which they have defrauded the UK market is significant, or the circumstances under which the crime occurred were particularly serious, they may face up to 17 years in prison. Carousel fraud solicitors can present evidence to prove that there was no intention of committing any offence in order to prevent this eventuality.
The specialist carousel fraud solicitors at DPP Business will work closely with you throughout proceedings, expertly representing you and providing high quality legal assistance and advice. Get in touch with us today to instruct us about your case.
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