Skip to main content

Crackdown on Scotland VAT cheats

Press release   •   Jan 16, 2014 14:21 GMT

An Aberdeenshire man has been detained for VAT fraud as part of an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) taskforce.

Investigators pursuing a suspected fraud in relation to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme detained a 59 year old man yesterday (15.1.14). Evidence was recovered and enquiries are continuing. The taskforce targets people and companies deliberately misusing the VAT Flat Rate Scheme and VAT self-billing schemes and is set to bring in £5 million. HMRC has seen an increase in this type of fraud. Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams visit traders to examine their records and carry out other tax investigations. HMRC has collected more than £100 million as a result of taskforces launched since 2011-12. It expects to bring in over £90 million a year from taskforces launched over the next three years. David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“The vast majority of people pay the taxes they owe and we want to support these hardworking people. Those being targeted by this taskforce however, are determined to evade their responsibilities and this Government has made it clear that we will not tolerate this. We have invested nearly £1billion in HMRC to tackle the issues of evasion, avoidance and fraud, clamping down on those who seek to break the rules.”

HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said:

“Deliberately misusing VAT schemes is serious. Our message is - do the right thing. If you haven't already, come clean now. If you don't, we will find you, investigate you and, not only could you face a heavy fine, but you may face a criminal prosecution as well.”

To report tax evasion, people can call HMRCs Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.

Notes for editors

1. Taskforces bring together various HMRC compliance and enforcement teams for intensive bursts of activity targeted at specific sectors and locations where there is evidence of high risk of tax evasion and fraud.

2. HMRC has launched 61 taskforces since 2011. A further 16 are planned for 2013-14 and up to 30 for 2014-15.

3. Taskforces have been made possible by the Government’s £917 million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011-12, which aims to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014-15.

4. HMRC’s evasion publicity campaign works alongside existing compliance activity such as Taskforces, data collection and enforcement to raise awareness among those breaking the rules that HMRC is closing in on undeclared income. More information can be found at

5. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

6. HMRC’s Flickr channel

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.