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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Charging Penalties: establishing penalty behaviour: examples of questions to establish behaviour: VAT wrongdoing

The questions you need to ask will depend very much on the circumstances of each case but you may want to consider asking some of the following questions to obtain evidence of deliberate behaviour.

  • Who issued the invoice showing the VAT?
  • How long has VAT been included on invoices?
  • Who decided to include VAT on the invoices?
  • What knowledge does that person have of VAT?
  • What authority did the person have to include VAT on the invoices?
  • What is the person’s role within the business and what relationship exists between the person and the owner/director of the business?
  • Was the person responsible for the business aware that incorrect invoices were being generated including VAT?
  • If advice was sought, from whom? What was that advice?
  • Did the person follow the advice given? If not, why not?
  • Did anyone tell the person that the inclusion of VAT on invoices was incorrect?