Bond House Systems Ltd v Customs and Excise: VDT 8 May 2003

The Tribunal described the general nature of a carousel fraud: ‘In its simplest form a carousel fraud works in this way. A VAT-registered trader, A, in one European Union member state sells taxable goods to a VAT-registered trader, B, in another member state. A’s sale to B is zero-rated in A’s member state’.
‘According to article 28c (A) (a) of the Sixth Directive, the supply of goods to an operator in another member state is exempted from VAT. In the wording of the United Kingdom Value Added Tax Act 1994, the supply is ‘zero-rated’. B should declare the purchase and pay acquisition tax in its own member state and on the premise that it is intending to use those goods in order to make onward taxable supply, then claim credit for the same amount as input tax. Usually, if it is a participant in a carousel fraud, it does neither. B then sells the goods to another VAT-registered trader C, in its own member state, charging and receiving VAT on the consideration. However, it fails to account to the tax authorities for that VAT and effectively disappears; it becomes what the commissioners refer to as a ‘missing trader’. Nevertheless, at the time of making its sale to C, while it is still registered for VAT and before the commissioners are aware that it is or might become a missing trader and had been able to intervene . . it provides a VAT invoice to C, which claims the VAT it has paid to B as input tax. C (to whom the commissioners refer as a ‘broker’) then sells the goods to registered trader in another member state: the hallmark of the simplest fraud is that this purchaser is A, and it is this circularity which gives rise to the ‘carousel fraud’. C has an input tax to claim but, because its sale to A is zero-rated in C’s own member state is not required to account for any output tax. As noted above, the supply of goods to an operator in another member state is exempted from VAT. The vendor is entitled to recover input tax pursuant to article 17(2) (d) of the Sixth Directive as inserted by article 28f(1) thereof. The result, if the fraud is successful is that B has received, but not accounted for the VAT which the tax authorities must pay to C . . . The goods are no more than a token, necessary to lend verisimilitude to the transactions . . A (at least, if it is participant in the fraud) likewise has no genuine business motive in buying back that which it has sold.’
[2003] UKVAT V18100
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedTotal Network Sl v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA 31-Jan-2007
The defendants suspected a carousel VAT fraud. The defendants appealed a finding that there was a viable cause of action alleging a ‘conspiracy where the unlawful means alleged is a common law offence of cheating the public revenue’. The defendants . .
AdoptedOptigen Ltd, Fulcrum Electronics Ltd, Bond House Systems Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 12-Jan-2006
ECJ Sixth VAT Directive – Article 2(1), Article 4(1) and (2) and Article 5(1) – Deduction of input tax – Economic activity – Taxable person acting as such – Supply of goods – Transaction forming part of a chain . .
AdoptedOptigen Ltd, Fulcrum Electronics Ltd, Bond House Systems Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 12-Jan-2006
ECJ Sixth VAT Directive – Article 2(1), Article 4(1) and (2) and Article 5(1) – Deduction of input tax – Economic activity – Taxable person acting as such – Supply of goods – Transaction forming part of a chain . .
AdoptedOptigen Ltd, Fulcrum Electronics Ltd, Bond House Systems Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 12-Jan-2006
ECJ Sixth VAT Directive – Article 2(1), Article 4(1) and (2) and Article 5(1) – Deduction of input tax – Economic activity – Taxable person acting as such – Supply of goods – Transaction forming part of a chain . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 26 January 2021; Ref: scu.238116