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HMRC Busts Disability VAT Concession Fraudsters

by Jason Gorringe,, London

23 December 2010

The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced on December 14 that it had concluded an investigation leading to the arrest of two men on suspicion of abusing a Value-Added Tax (VAT) scheme that allows individuals to use their disability status to purchase vehicles free from VAT.

It is anticipated that the two men – a man in his 30s from Warwickshire, and a man in his early 20s from Greater Manchester – are to be held accountable for committing the fraud to benefit from proceeds estimated to amount to GBP450,000.

Commenting on the operation, Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:

“These arrests are a result of many months of investigation to unravel what is believed to be a major fraud, targeting a scheme designed to help and improve the mobility and lifestyles of people with disabilities. We have worked in partnership and been closely supported by police forces in Warwickshire, West Mercia, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.”

“One of our key priorities is to identify the abuse of our tax systems to stop criminals stealing vast amounts of public money for their own gain and to bring those responsible before the courts.”

According to HMRC, the individuals are alleged to have purchased high value vehicles worth GBP3.3m on a VAT free basis, with models purchased including Range Rovers, Land Rovers, BMWs, Audis and a Porsche. It is alleged that the individuals then sold the vehicles on, without any adaptations, to car dealerships in the UK. The vehicles were also in some cases exported to Ireland and to Amsterdam, it is alleged.

TAGS: individuals | court | compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | law | United Kingdom | enforcement | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

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