VAT fraud clampdown hurting business

Companies needing to register for VAT with HM Revenue & Custom are having
to wait as long as eight weeks following the government’s attempt to clamp down
on VAT ‘carousel’ fraud.

According to a study by mid-tier firm UHY Hacker Young the process used to
take two weeks on average and the long waiting period is now putting bona fide
business deals in jeopardy.

Companies with a turnover above the threshold without a VAT number face
severe curbs on trading, the firm said.

Simon Newark, VAT partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: ‘Not having a VAT number
can stop a business from trading. Business partners often refuse to deal with
unregistered businesses and many property deals in particular cannot be
completed without a valid VAT number.’

According to The Guardian, HMRC recently doubled the number of
investigators tracking VAT fraud to 1,000 following a 500% increase in carousel
VAT fraud.

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