Major VAT fraud case back in court


Trader Olympia is to appear for a third court hearing after the High Court sent it back to the VAT Tribunal.

Tribunal proceedings began in 2007 after HMRC withheld £1 million of VAT from Olympia in 2006 on suspicion of knowledge of VAT fraud in its supply chain. The Tribunal ruled last year in Olympia’s favour, but HMRC appealed the decision, which the High Court has now upheld.

Vantis head of tax disputes and litigation Don Mavin said: “The knowledge attributed to a company must involve not only the directors but its senior employees and whether Olympia’s senior traders knew, or could have known, of the alleged fraud, on the information available to them at the time of the original deals. 

“Obviously the decision in Olympia will have significant implications for other companies contesting VAT appeals with HMRC.”