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HMRC continues to target till fraud

11 April 2024

HMRC has, for many years, looked to target businesses that deliberately undertake electronic sales suppression (ESS).

For many years, HMRC has been targeting businesses that deliberately engage in electronic sales suppression (till fraud). This occurs when a business intentionally alters its electronic sales records to conceal or decrease the value of individual transactions.

This form of fraud is difficult to detect as it aims to lower the business’s recorded turnover and the corresponding tax liabilities. It does this while maintaining what seems to be a credible and compliant audit trail. Businesses can achieve till fraud by misusing built-in till functions or by installing software specifically designed to suppress sales.

HMRC officers continue to target businesses nationwide suspected of involvement in the creation, supply, or promotion of ESS systems. These businesses could face fines of up to £50,000 and criminal investigations. HMRC is also actively pursuing users of these systems, who may have to repay evaded tax, face financial penalties, and possible criminal convictions. HMRC has confirmed its commitment to continue contacting and targeting till fraud throughout 2024.

The government is also encouraging affected businesses to voluntarily disclose their undeclared sales and cease using ESS software immediately via the online portal. If businesses fail to come forward regarding till fraud, HMRC may issue an assessment, initiate an investigation, and apply harsher penalties.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 09 Apr 2024 00:00:00 +0100

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