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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for VAT and Excise Wrongdoing: Types of wrongdoing: Deliberate and concealed

A wrongdoing or act, see CH91050, is deliberate and concealed if the person knows that what they are doing is wrong but still carries out the wrongdoing or act and takes active steps, either before or after the wrongdoing or act, to conceal the wrongdoing or act.

The act of concealment may include

  • creating false invoices
  • backdating or postdating contracts or invoices
  • creating false minutes of meetings or minutes of fictitious meetings
  • destroying books and records so that they should not be available
  • systematically diverting takings into undisclosed bank accounts and covering the traces
  • invoice routing
  • creating sales records
  • describing expenditure in the business records in such a way as to make it appear to be business related when it is in fact private
  • altering genuine purchase invoices.

Although the penalties for deliberate wrongdoing are civil monetary penalties, we also have a criminal investigation policy and will refer the most serious cases for consideration of criminal proceedings where appropriate.

For a practical example of a deliberate and concealed wrongdoing, see CH93150.

For a practical example of a deliberate but not concealed wrongdoing, see CH93250.