VAT Fraud Solicitors

What is VAT fraud?

Forbes Solicitors provide expert legal defence advice and defence representation throughout the country to those suspected of or charged with offences involving VAT fraud including Carousel fraud, also known as Missing Trade Intra Community Fraud (MTIC Fraud).

VAT fraud is when a business fails to charge and account for VAT when they should have done so or VAT is charged but not paid to HMRC. VAT fraud claims are brought by the police and regulatory bodies such as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and The Serious Fraud Office (SFO). VAT fraud and Carousel fraud frequently involve very complex intra company trading arrangements between UK and European Union based companies, involving goods, such as computer chips and mobile phones. Such frauds are often referred to as computer chip frauds or mobile phone frauds with a carousel of companies involved - hence carousel fraud.

More about VAT Fraud

More about VAT Fraud

Enquiries by HM Revenue and Customs and other investigative bodies into Carousel fraud and VAT fraud are frequently lengthy and wide-ranging involving the activities of many companies and individuals. Prosecutions for Carousel fraud and VAT fraud are long and complex and require expert legal defence representation. Conviction frequently results in substantial sentences of imprisonment and orders for confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Obtaining expert defence solicitors at an early stage is vital. Public funding (Legal Aid) may be available for legal defence representation in Carousel fraud and VAT fraud cases.

VAT fraud is a form of tax evasion and is a very serious offence. Some examples of tax evasion are:

  • Not registering for VAT or falsely claiming to have registered

  • Using a false VAT number or another person's VAT number

  • Taking cash payments to avoid VAT payments

  • Payments being made outside of a business

  • Not charging the correct amount of VAT or charging for VAT but failing to pay HMRC VAT

  • Falsifying VAT invoices

  • Carousel or Missing Trader Intra-Community Fraud.

What happens during an investigation to VAT fraud?

What happens during an investigation to VAT fraud?

During a VAT fraud investigation, other areas such as corporation tax and personal tax may be examined. Experienced tax fraud investigation solicitors will advise you on how to respond to any requests from the HMRC. It is also common during VAT investigations for the police to freeze assets and, in some cases, assets including cash could be seized by the police. These types of investigations can be extremely complex and lengthy. If you are under investigation, arrested or charged with a fraud offence, get in touch with Forbes Solicitors to speak to a criminal defence solicitor on 01772 220 022 or make an online enquiry here. The earlier you seek legal advice, the better. Our VAT fraud solicitors are available 365 days a year, 24/7 for police station representation.

What is the sentence for VAT Fraud?

What is the sentence for VAT Fraud?

If you are found guilty or plead guilty for VAT fraud, you could be facing up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to £20,000. You could also be sentenced with an ancillary order, such as restraint order, confiscation order, financial reporting order, serious crime prevention order or you could be disqualified from acting as a company director in the future.

When sentencing, the judge will consider age as to how this could affect an individual's level of responsibility and the offender's level of culpability, to what extent the offence was planned and carried out. The court will also consider other factors such as previous convictions, level of remorse and your character. They will also take into consideration any disabilities or mental disorders when deciding on VAT fraud penalties for each individual case.

If you are guilty of VAT fraud and enter a guilty plea any time up to the first court hearing, you could reduce the sentence you're facing by up to one third. However, the later you enter a guilty plea, the likelihood of receiving a reduced sentence lowers considerably.

If you are found guilty, you will be added onto the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) database formerly known as Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) which could have devastating effects for any future career prospects.

Why choose our VAT fraud solicitors?

Why choose our VAT fraud solicitors?

Our criminal defence team provide expert legal fraud defence advice and representation throughout the country to those suspected of or charged with VAT fraud. Our VAT solicitors have many years of experience in representing clients who have been the subject of such investigations.

Our tax fraud solicitors are members of the Specialist Fraud Panel and Series Fraud Association and are able to conduct the provision of advice and representation in fraud defence, either on a private fee-paying basis or through public funding through Legal Aid.

We are a dedicated and expert firm of specialist tax fraud lawyers with an outstanding reputation for the tenacious defence of cases of serious fraud and serious crime. We are repeatedly asked to assist client who have already, at some time or during the course of an investigation or Court proceedings instructed solicitors. We are used to dealing with such enquiries and advising as to the transfer of a case from previous solicitors to Forbes Solicitors. To speak to a fraud solicitor, call 01772 220 022 or alternatively complete our online enquiry form.

How can our VAT fraud lawyers help?

How can our VAT fraud lawyers help?

Forbes Solicitors have an experienced team of VAT and Carousel fraud solicitors with a strong reputation of defending individuals facing prosecution for VAT fraud. It is important that you have confidence in the solicitors that you instruct to in order to get the best possible outcome. To speak to a VAT lawyer, call 01772 220 022 or alternatively make an online enquiry below.

Our dedicated VAT Fraud Team

Craig Liversidge.jpg

Partner, Crime

Craig Liversidge


Partner, Crime

Craig MacKenzie


Consultant, Crime

Daniel King

Contact Us

If you have an enquiry then please fill in your details and someone will contact you.

0800 988 5124 - Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 17:00

Request a call back

By submitting your enquiry you agree that Forbes can contact you.

© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here.

This website has implemented reCAPTCHA v3 and your use of reCAPTCHA v3 is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.