Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

VAT Fraud

Contrivance: The goods and services: Identification numbers of goods and services

Goods and services often have identification numbers, for example International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers for mobile phones and carbon credit certificate numbers. Certain goods will also have batch and lot numbers (in which case the goods will have the same batch and lot numbers). For a variety of commercial reasons and as part of their risk management process, taxable persons will often obtain details of the reference numbers for a variety of purposes, including identifying returned goods and access to warranties.

Aspects to consider:

  • Whether unique identification numbers were recorded and kept;
  • whether the taxable person requested someone else to record and keep unique identification numbers;
  • how the unique identification numbers were stored;
  • the action taken by the taxable person who has been requested to keep identification numbers;
  • how the taxable person used the information gathered;
  • what action was taken if duplication was found;
  • if no information was obtained how the taxable person handled returned goods or activated services.

The above list is not exhaustive.