MTIC (Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud) - also known as Carousel fraud - is the theft of Value Added Tax (VAT) from a respective government by organised criminal gangs who take advantage of the VAT system for their own personal gain. As the UK Government loses an estimated £11 billion per annual year due to VAT fraud, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) makes it their priority to prevent this from happening. If you have been accused of being affiliated with MTIC fraud, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience and we will deal with your case from the onset. We are available to represent you anywhere within the country and will defend your case for you in court if necessary.
Free initial telephone consultation
Our highly skilled Fraud team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. For more information, please call us, or email us using the contact form below.
MTIC fraud and the law
MTIC fraud is when an EU company imports and trades goods – quite commonly electrical devices such as mobile phones and computer hardware – from another EU member state tax free. Typically, the importer then sells the respective goods onto another company from the same country and charges VAT but fails to pay it to HMRC creating the “missing” trader. Alternatively, the goods are ‘traded’ via a chain of companies until a ‘broker’ returns the goods to the EU and attempts to reclaim the VAT they paid to their supplier from HMRC – this completes the “carousel”. Quite often, it is alleged that these goods do not exist and fraud is committed by supplying fictitious goods.
HMRC will often not prosecute the missing trader, but rather target those who are in the chain and/or those behind the fraud. If you have been affiliated with trading that has led to MTIC fraud, you could still face a criminal prosecution and it is therefore in your best interests to acquire legal advice at your earliest convenience.
What sentence could you receive if found guilty?
Given the complexities involved with MTIC fraud, it is not always clear to detect if somebody involved in the transaction has committed a crime. The prosecution therefore need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was an agreement between the respective parties to falsely reclaim VAT and that they are connected with the fraud, which is most commonly a conspiracy to defraud. Convictions can result in wide ranging disposals, which can include lengthy custodial sentences and often very significantly confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Who are HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)?
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial department of the UK government that oversees various financial responsibilities, most notably the collection of taxes. The department is responsible for the administration and collection of various taxes including income tax and corporation tax while also helping families and individuals with targeted financial support such as the distributions of tax credits including child benefits. Their overall aim is to therefore ensure that we are taxed the right amount and to make it as difficult as possible for people to take advantage of the tax system.
HMRC also have their own inland detention officers who have the legal authority of arrest, entry, search and detention. HMRC have the power to arrest anyone who has committed, or are suspected of committing an offence. The cases they prosecute may take place with the police or the Crown Prosecution Service.
How we can help
If you have been contacted by any department of HMRC, our experienced Fraud Defence Solicitors are available to put forward your case in the best possible light and advise you throughout the entire process. We promise to:
• Advise you throughout the entire process
• Advise you on a confidential basis of any concerns you have
• Work alongside your accountant to make protected disclosures
• Represent you in an interview under caution with HMRC
• Prepare and collate all required documents for HMRC
• Represent you in court if necessary
• Take the worry off your hands
• Argue your case
• Prepare an appeal if necessary
Given the broad area of law surrounding MTIC fraud, we will ensure to deal with your case by finding all of the facts and circumstances.
Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending businesses and individuals accused of fraud.
Why Choose Us?
At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress and worry being accused of MTIC fraud can cause and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your business and your future. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.
How to make contact
If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us and ask to speak to someone in our Fraud team. Alternatively, you can email the Fraud team using the contact form below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Our Fraud Defence Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in: Birmingham, Bedford, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Nottingham and Sheffield.