VAT Fraud gang 

Three men jailed for 13 years for their part in a multi-million pound fuel and VAT fraud have been ordered to pay back almost £6.9 million or face more time behind bars. Senior citizen Michael Wilmot, 73, led the Lincolnshire gang that was jailed in July 2014 after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found they had evaded millions in duty and tax through a sophisticated fraud. Wilmot, transport manager Michael Taylor, 39, and HGV driver Derek Blackburn, 61, all from Market Rasen, appeared at Hull Crown Court where the confiscation orders were granted. David Cowie, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Our investigations do not stop at sentencing. It is crucial we look to stop criminals profiting from their crimes and reclaim as much as possible to put it back where it belongs – funding vital public services across the UK. “This criminal gang were put behind bars for stealing millions of pounds. Now they must pay back what they owe otherwise they will be spending more years in prison.” Wilmot used connections to a farmers’ buying consortium in Louth to order large quantities of rebated fuel, commonly known as red diesel. Unknown to the consortium, the fuel was sold on and used illegally in heavy goods vehicles (HGV) belonging to 35 different companies, all with connections to Wilmot. In an extension of the fraud, Wilmot played his part in issuing invoices for the haulage work carried out by the companies, charging customers VAT on their services. But instead of paying the VAT to HMRC, he pocketed the cash. In addition, none of the companies...

Should I register for VAT?

Many small business owners ask whether they should register for VAT and this post aims to clarify when you should register and also address some pros and cons of voluntary registration. Mandatory VAT registration Legally, you must register for VAT if your turnover in the previous 12 months (not your last financial year but a rolling 12 months) has exceeded £82,000 (as at the time of writing) or if you know that you will exceed this threshold. If you have a bookkeeper then they will know whether you have exceeded this and will be able to advise on registration. This registration is mandatory and if you fail to register in time HMRC can make you pay the VAT on sales from the time you should have registered – potentially a costly error. Bear in mind that this figure is turnover and not profit, so is the amount of all of your sales before taking off any costs. Voluntary VAT registration A business with a turnover of less than the threshold can still choose to register for VAT voluntarily but this is a decision with consequences and a decision should not be taken lightly. If you choose to register voluntarily and later decide that this is the wrong decision then you can deregister at any time as long as your turnover remains under the threshold. Any bookkeeper or accountant will be able to talk to you about your own business and the implications of voluntary registration but I will lay out a few pros and cons very briefly here. Pros The ability to reclaim VAT on VATable purchases such as...

VAT (De)Registration Thresholds

With effect from 1st April 2015 the VAT registration threshold has been increased from £81,000 to £82,000 and the deregistration threshold has also been increased by £1,000 from £79,000 to £80,000. Bear in mind though that the calculation to see if the threshold is a rolling 12 month one so figures need to be reviewed regularly. If you think or know that you are near or over the threshold please speak to a professional for advice. Bruton Young Bookkeeping would be delighted to assess your turnover, register you if necessary and then carry out your VAT administration on an ongoing basis.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new...