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HMRC internal manual

Securities Guidance

Introduction and the law: the law on security: Value Added Tax: compensation orders against convicted persons

Under section 130(1)(a) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, a court may require a convicted person to pay compensation for any loss of tax resulting from the offence.

130(1)(a) A court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence, instead of or in addition to dealing with him in any other way, may, on application or otherwise, make an order (in this Act referred to as “a compensation order”) requiring him-

(a) to pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from that offence or any other offence which is taken into consideration by the court in determining sentence;  

but this is subject to the following provisions of this section and to section 131 below.

The provisions of section 130 referred to above and section 131 are reproduced here.

130(4) Compensation under subsection (1) above shall be of such amount as the court considers appropriate, having regard to any evidence and to any representations that are made by or on behalf of the accused or the prosecutor.

130(11) In determining whether to make a compensation order against any person, and in determining the amount to be paid by any person under such an order, the court shall have regard to his means so far as they appear or are known to the court.

130(12) Where the court considers-

(a) that it would be appropriate both to impose a fine and to make a compensation order, but  

(b) that the offender has insufficient means to pay both an appropriate fine and appropriate compensation,  

the court shall give preference to compensation (though it may impose a fine as well).

Limit on amount payable under compensation order of magistrates’ court.

131.-(1) The compensation to be paid under a compensation order made by a magistrates’ court in respect of any offence of which the court has convicted the offender shall not exceed £5,000.

(2) The compensation or total compensation to be paid under a compensation order or compensation orders made by a magistrates’ court in respect of any offence or offences taken into consideration in determining sentence shall not exceed the difference (if any) between-

(a) the amount or total amount which under subsection (1) above is the maximum for the offence or offences of which the offender has been convicted; and

(b) the amount or total amounts (if any) which are in fact ordered to be paid in respect of that offence or those offences.