As CRN’s campaign to highlight the plight of innocent traders that have run afoul of HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) extended verification process enters its fourth week, we are still being contacted on a daily basis by affected companies.
High Wycombe-based mobile phone trader Foneshops has been waiting for a seven-figure VAT repayment from HMRC since last May.
The firm, which has been in business since 2002 exporting mobile phones, has since closed its stores and managing director Mohammed Shakeel has been forced to lay off several staff.
Speaking to CRN, Shakeel said: “I have been in the IT business since 1985 and have ploughed everything into Foneshops. HMRC has been coming to our premises every month since we started to check our paperwork, and knows all our suppliers.
“I have provided all the paperwork I possibly can to HMRC and our local officer even approved the repayment last May, but a higher HMRC representative then informed us we were being subjected to an extended verification process.”
Shakeel added that his solicitors are applying for a Judicial Review through the courts and he has joined a group action against HMRC, organised by the Federation of Technological Industries (CRN, 8 January).
“I understand that HMRC is in a difficult position, but it is basically saying that we are all guilty by association,” he said.
“No-one in my supply chain has been found guilty. There seems to be no urgency on the part of HMRC to sort this out and every day my businesses is suffering.”
An HMRC representative told CRN that the government body could not comment on individual cases for ‘legal reasons’.
If you have been affected by HMRC’s extended verification process please get in touch via email or phone 020 7316 9421.
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