VAT fraud out of control

A Panorama special is expected to reveal that VAT fraud over the last year
totalled £8.4bn, more than five times the amount lost to carousel fraud by any
other EU state.

The BBC’s investigative programme will claim that government figures
estimating the fraud at £1.9bn are grossly understated, the Independent

The BBC used the services of a Belgian anti-fraud group to calculate its
numbers. Carousel fraud involves continually importing and exporting the same
batch of goods, with VAT being reclaimed on each transaction.

HM Revenue & Customs is planning to introduce a ‘reverse charge’ scheme
to fight carousel fraud. The change will mean that businesses buying mobile
phones, computer chips and other electronic goods will have to take
responsibility for accounting for VAT in transactions.

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