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Taxation: VAT Carousel Fraud

Volume 690: debated on Tuesday 27 March 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate they have made of the number of criminal groups involved in missing trader and carousel fraud. [HL2651]

Unfortunately the requested information cannot be disclosed as to do so would undermine the measures introduced by HM Revenue and Customs to counter Missing Trader Intra-Community fraud and as such prejudice the assessment and collection of tax.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate they have of the total funds being investigated in current prosecutions of mobile phone operators in missing trader and carousel fraud. [HL2652]

HMRC has a duty to protect tax revenues and does so through a multi-faceted strategy using a range of interventions. The investigation of MTIC fraud is directed on the basis of perceived risk and not limited by specific products or sectors. Although the majority of all MTIC fraud seen so far has been perpetrated using mobile phones and computer chips, a wide range of other goods have been, and continue to be, used.

Ongoing prosecutions, resulting from HMRC's criminal investigations, involve some £2.5 billion of VAT. However, this figure is dynamic and changes as further evidence comes to light, and new cases are adopted and current ones completed.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Serious Fraud Office and the police are involved in tracking down missing trader fraud and carousel fraud; and how many companies are currently under investigation. [HL2653]

MTIC fraud is an attack on the taxation system and, as such, is an assigned matter to HM Revenue and Customs. However, the police have conducted investigations that touch on MTIC fraud—for example, into money laundering—and have worked with HM Revenue and Customs in support of their investigations. HM Revenue and Customs also works closely with the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Details of the investigations and prosecutions conducted each year by HM Revenue and Customs are published in the departmental annual report and, prior to the creation of HM Revenue and Customs, were published each year in the annual reports of both the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise. Copies of the annual reports are available in the Library of the House. Where the specific information requested is not published, it is not collated in that format.