TaxCorporate TaxONS uncovers £20bn VAT scams

ONS uncovers £20bn VAT scams

Statistics watchdog uncovers blips in trade figures, signs of large-scale fraud

The government has uncovered what may be a £20bn VAT fraud after close
scrutiny of trade figures.

The Office of National Statistics said today that close scrutiny of trade
figures showed unusual blips, which it thinks may be signs of ‘missing trader’
frauds.

The blips represent unusually large movements of goods. The frauds involve
individuals selling goods at a VAT-included price, pocketing the 17.5% margin,
and then disappearing.

Estimates suggest the government may have lost out to such frauds to the tune
of £20bn since the late 1990s.

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