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  • VAT fraud figures to be disclosed

    Posted on September 28th, 2009 admin No comments
    VAT fraud? "Nice little earner"

    VAT fraud? "Nice little earner"

    The taxman has suffered a defeat at the hands of the Information Commissioner who ruled that more details on the level of complex so-called “carousel” VAT fraud should be revealed.

    An applicant had asked a number of questions relating to this fraud which it is estimated could cost the taxpayer as much as £2billion per year.

    The request, which was dealt with by HM Revenue and Customs, refused to release the data claiming it was covered by S.31 (Law Enforcement).

    It claimed that disclosure of the information could lead to criminals knowing how successful it was at stamping down on the fraud and encourage criminals to change tactics to avoid being caught.

    However, the Commissioner said the information requested was so limited that the worries stated by HMRC were overstated.

    The Commissioner said: “The Commissioner does not accept that disclosure of the requested information would be likely to have an adverse impact on the public authority’s effectiveness in tackling MTIC (carousel) fraud, therefore prejudicing its collection and assessment of VAT. Accordingly, he does not find that the exemption is engaged.”

    The full decision notice can be read [here].

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