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VAT Fraud Investigations are dangerous territory. Professional assistance is needed to come out the other side.

The business world is tough, but dealing with a VAT fraud case at the same time can seem almost impossible.

Getting the right advice from VAT fraud solicitors can make the difference between a case going nowhere and years of investigations and even court.

A VAT Fraud case can turn challenging times into a nightmare

A VAT Fraud case can turn your life upside down. It brings with it an immediate fear of threat to your career, reputation.

It can be difficult to bear the pressure because of the stigma associated with being suspected of fraud, even if you've done nothing wrong. Most people in this situation have never been in this type of trouble before, and never thought it would happen to them.

Because VAT claims are often in the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, there is a possibility of prison and asset confiscation if you're convicted, which creates an extra burden.

Worry about the possibility of being convicted can be even worse for businesses and individuals who are regulated by professional bodies if they risk losing their ability to continue their work.

The fact that VAT Fraud cases can threaten both your personal life and your business can make the mental challenge of dealing with the problem much worse.

Being targeted by HMRC can turn your life upside down

Managing a business is hard, and the Covid years will prove to be even tougher times. A fraud investigation during this period is unthinkable for most people.

Running a business and collecting and manage VAT for the government is a challenge. Mistakes can be made. People can naively trust rogue suppliers or be sabotaged by a colleague, resulting in unmerited HMRC involvement.

When HMRC decides that a person is guilty, they are often uncompromising and cynical in pursuing that person, even there is evidence which suggests that they may be innocent. This is terribly unfair.

People who have never been in trouble are often ashamed and can find it too hard to face up to doing basic things like telling family members, or even finding decent VAT fraud lawyers to start dealing with the problem.

It can seem that HMRC can put a stop to your whole life without challenge. People often suffer in silence, with sleepless nights and stress during the day.

You don't have to accept cynical attacks by investigators

The disruption and threat to your life and the wellbeing of you and your family caused by an HMRC investigation is not something you have to just accept. HMRC are not all-powerful and they are accountable.

UK law says that you can't be convicted unless you have done something wrong. In many cases even if you admit to having done something negligent or incorrect you can still avoid court or conviction.

Having top lawyers specialist lawyers is an important first step. It is true that HMRC are used to winning tax fraud cases. Part of the reason is that people are not always well defended. When you have a team of specialist VAT fraud lawyers and the right accountants on your side, you stand the best chance of surviving the case. This means either getting the investigation stopped early or winning the case at trial.

When you're properly represented, HMRC is less likely to take liberties during the investigation. They're also less likely to want to take the case to court.

We have the tools and the approach to beat VAT fraud cases

We've been defending these cases for 30 years and you can have access to the knowledge and experience our VAT fraud solicitors have acquired in that time.

From the beginning of the investigation, your case is treated with the care and attention you expect. We take every opportunity to stop the case going any further.

We assemble a team of top barristers and VAT fraud solicitors with a record of winning so that you're properly defended, and you have the best chance of avoiding conviction. We also work closely with specialist tax advisors throughout, often former HMRC enforcement managers. If the case is headed for trial, we are ready to fight.

We put in time with you to understand the full picture. If there's another explanation for what's happened, we put it forward in the most convincing way.

We make sure you're fully updated and supported throughout. A VAT fraud investigation is one of the most stressful situations a person can face. We want the stress kept to the absolute minimum.

Steps you can take right now to improve your chances

  • Call us and speak to one of our specialist VAT fraud lawyers. We are happy to discuss what's going on with you, and not much is beyond our experience in this area.

  • Be proactive. The people in these cases who get the best results are the ones who face up to the problem and go out and get the right professionals on their side to help. Get a proper VAT fraud lawyer working with you, not just the local solicitor.

  • Ask all the questions you need to so you fully understand what's going on. This will help you decide what to do next, and it will help you get through the case on an emotional level.

  • If you are struggling with sleep or anxiety, go to see your GP. Most people suffer in an HMRC VAT fraud case, but many don't go and get the support they need.

  • Don't assume that cooperating with everything HMRC staff want will mean they have goodwill towards you and are more likely to give you an easy time. Proper representation, delivered in a forceful and civil way is the key to the result.

man cutting word vat with background

Exceptional win rate - 72% of our clients win their cases

Our criminal solicitors fight to win our clients’ cases and the proof is our results. Where a client doesn’t admit the allegation we win at trial or get the case dropped beforehand in 72% of cases.*

We listen carefully

We listen to you and treat your situation as if we were in your shoes. We don’t hire staff unless they have this mindset. Every case is supervised by one of the firm’s directors.

We investigate thoroughly

We do our own thorough investigation and find the best way to present your case to the police, to the prosecutor, or finally to the jury. This means phone, letters, and aggressive advocacy on your behalf at every stage.

Our criminal solicitors never give up

We never give up, and we fight until we get the result. That can mean early mornings, late nights, and commitment to go the extra mile.

* 72% of clients' cases resulted in case being discontinued at investigation or court stage, or not guilty verdict after trial. Data from all criminal clients between  02.2017 and 08.2019 - excludes cases where the client admitted the offence and chose to plead guilty.

No-tricks fixed-fee pricing

We can usually offer a fixed fee instalment plan so you can plan for the expense, and so you can fund your case in stages while it is continuing.

Private representation

Once we have an idea of what kind of case you are facing and what work that will be necessary, we will then be able to provide you with a fixed fee quote. This means that you know before you commit how much your case will cost.

What's included

  • Representation at interview or court hearings

  • Analysing the evidence & investigating

  • Conferences with your lawyers

  • Negotiating with police or prosecutors

Fixed fee from

£4000+ VAT

Free case review - what do I get and how does it work?

Free time with a lawyer

You get dedicated time with one of our specialist criminal solicitors on the phone or in person, with no obligation, for free.

Non-judgmental listening

When we’re talking with you, we promise to be always non-judgmental and sensitive to what you’re going through.

Expert opinion

Our criminal solicitors start by asking you questions so we can understand what’s going on, and we listen carefully to what you tell us.

How long will my free case review last?

Serious cases

In more serious or difficult situations we may need an hour or two in person to go through things with you properly.

Less serious cases

In some cases which are less serious or complex, it may be ten or twenty minutes on the phone.

Unable to help

If it’s obvious straight away that we wouldn’t be able to help, we’ll tell you straight away and point you in the right direction to find lawyers who can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer you’re looking for, contact our leading Criminal Defence Solicitors

Will I go to prison for VAT fraud?

Many people who have committed VAT fraud do not get charged and taken to court. HMRC will sometimes be content with fines in the form penalties. Even if the case goes to court and a person is convicted, not everyone goes to prison. Sentences can be suspended if the judge intends to impose 24 months or less. A judge will take into account will be the amount of loss or intended loss to the revenue, the personal mitigation and previous record of the defendant, and the role the defendant played in the offence.

Will I lose my home or assets if I am convicted of VAT fraud?

Confiscation proceedings often follow a VAT fraud conviction, but this doesn't mean that people definitely lose everything they own. The court will take into account the value of the original case, and the extent to which assets which have been in the defendant's hands going back 6 years can be regarded as having come from clean sources. Courts also have to take into account anyone else who has a financial interest in property who has not been convicted of any offence, such as wives or partners.

Do all VAT fraud cases go to court?

Not all VAT fraud cases go to court. Many are dealt with by HMRC by way of financial penalties. Early advice and representation from specialist VAT fraud lawyers can be of great help in steering a case to a non-criminal outcome.

Will my family be charged with VAT fraud?

If family members have been members of a company or signatories to bank accounts or tax declarations, there is a chance they will be charged. Being charged means that the case against them is brought to a criminal court. But HMRC deciding to charge does not mean that you will be convicted. You can only be convicted if you plead guilty or a jury find you guilty after a trial.

This wasn't me - why have I been targeted in a VAT fraud case if someone else benefited?

HMRC will often charge a number of people in a conspiracy where a VAT fraud is suspected in a business or businesses employing staff. This doesn't mean you will be convicted. The prosecution have to prove that you knew and took part in a plan to defraud the VAT system.

What does conspiracy to cheat the revenue mean?

Conspiracy to cheat the revenue is a legal phrase used to describe a person being part of a plan to defraud or steal from HMRC.

What is MTIC or Missing Trader fraud?

MTIC or Missing Trader Intra Community fraud is a term which describes fraud on the tax authorities exploiting the VAT repayment scheme. It is called 'Intra Community' because it has often taken place using overseas transactions with companies in EU member states as a way of avoiding quick detection. The term missing trader fraud can also be used to describe less sophisticated frauds where a trader simply disappears and another trader fraudulently claims a VAT refund or refunds. Where goods are passed round over and over between a circle of fraudulent parties, the term 'carousel fraud' is often used.

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