HMRC has come under further fire from those caught up in extended verification tussles after being accused of four years of bungling by a Welsh trader.
Boston Computer Group Europe (BCG) in Cardiff has had about £106,000 of VAT deductions withheld. The amount is split across seven transactions that took place during the second half of 2006.
The firm's owner Ian Charles said: “HMRC has not evidenced the line of supply and what one officer says does not correspond to another. HMRC will not open a debate.”
Charles also claimed officers have made a series of investigating mistakes, including looking for evidence of cargo transportation on the wrong date.
Five of the transactions in question took place in Q3 2006, but Charles revealed twice as many deals from that period had originally been investigated. The other five involved goods bought and sold outside the UK, with products purchased from an authorised Intel distributor.
"These transactions directly contradict HMRC’s attempts to link BCG to fraud, " said Charles. "One of the suggested indicators of fraud is that purchases are never direct from authorised distribution or a manufacturer. The officer has left these out as it clearly contradicts this point and his evidence."
The other two transactions involved in the case, which took place in Q4 2006, have not resulted in any tax loss. But Charles explained HMRC is attempting to link them to a transaction which took place a month afterwards. It has been suggested they are linked to "contra trading" VAT carousel fraud.
But Charles asserted that he has provided documentary evidence that investigating officers have incorrectly documented the line of supply.
“HMRC and their legal advisers seem unwilling to discuss this in order to narrow the issues that will be contested at any final hearing," he added. "They simply reply with: 'we have got it right and will see you in court'. This can only lead to a waste of the tribunal's time and more unnecessary cost to the public purse."
A pre-trial hearing was set for yesterday. Follow all developments on ChannelWeb.
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