Case study: Allegations of VAT fraud by the HMRC
Anil Rajani, Regulatory and Investigations Partner, defended a client against criminal proceedings brought by HMRC. The case involved allegations of a substantial VAT fraud (over £500k) relating to the defendant’s IT consultancy company.
The case involved extra territorial issues as the client provides IT and accountancy services to US companies based in Ireland and elsewhere whilst his base is in the Netherlands. This raised questions around where the taxable supply lies and other complex issues.
The case was unique as it involved five other corporate and individual parties, thereby requiring delicate and detailed analysis. A disturbing feature was that a co-defendant had hi-jacked the VAT number of respectable firm of solicitors.
Our defence case statement and lengthy written representations, prepared by both Anil and Queen’s Counsel, were instrumental in highlighting the evidential difficulties and persuaded the prosecution that it was not in the public interest to pursue the matter in the criminal arena. Furthermore, the Court awarded the client a costs order.
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