The penalties for VAT fraud are severe. Even though it’s no joke messing with the VAT man, people are still doing it. They deliberately flout the rules, fully intending to defraud HMRC and British taxpayers. They’re the big boys, the serious offenders, but most people who get penalties get things wrong unintentionally.
£2.4 million fraudsters investigated
In December three people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a massive £2.4 million VAT fraud connected to horse racing. They were released on bail until March on charges of fraud by false representation, cheating the public revenue and money laundering. If they’re found guilty, all hell will let loose. That’s three people’s lives ruined and probably those of their families too. Is it really worth the risk?
Ordinary people get it wrong by mistake
Then you get hard-working people running their own businesses who just get it horribly wrong. Maybe it falls through the cracks and they leave it too late, maybe they misinterpret the rules or don’t keep proper records. Many people don’t realise how important it is to get it right, or don’t even realise they should be registered for VAT in the first place.
The VAT system is notoriously complex and the paperwork is a burden. Business owners are busy people who don’t necessarily have a latent talent for the intricacies of DIY VAT returns. On the positive side, with good training from an expert who has worked with HMRC, you can become fluent in VAT, save time and cut the risk of a nasty penalty. If that sounds good, give me a call.