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HMRC internal manual

VAT Fraud

Contrivance: The way the taxable person trades: Advertising and marketing

It would be expected that taxable persons making high and increased levels of turnover are usually supported by advertising and marketing.

In cases of VAT fraud it is often the case that many, if not all, traders within a transaction chain use the same internet forum to identify suppliers and customers. This would provide taxable persons with the opportunity to source the goods further up the chain to maximise its profits.

It would be surprising if there was a long transaction chain when all the taxable persons are advertising on the same forum. In a commercial market taxable persons would seek to ‘cut out the middle men’.