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Crackdown on VAT cheats continues

Press Release   •   Nov 07, 2013 11:41 GMT

A businessman from Fife has been detained in relation to a suspected £500,000 VAT repayment fraud as part of HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) ongoing taskforce activity tackling tax cheats. 

HMRC officers searched one domestic and two business premises in Fife on Tuesday  morning, (5 November), where they seized business records relating to the suspected fraud. The operation is linked to the taskforce looking at fraudulent VAT repayment claims which was launched in Scotland last month.

Anne-Marie Gordon, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“HMRC takes tax fraud extremely seriously and anyone deliberately choosing to evade the taxes they owe should expect not only a heavy fine, but possibily a criminal prosecution as well. Anyone with information about people who may be involved in tax fraud can contact the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.” 

The man was questioned by HMRC and then released pending further investigation.

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 54 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


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.