Cheating the Public Revenue is a common law offence which can be committed without any positive steps having been undertaken. A failure to act can amount to cheating the Revenue, such as failure to submit a VAT return or pay VAT due.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the offence.
Nature Of The Offence | Kangs Financial Offences Defence Team
This common law offence continues to be prosecuted along- side offences created by statute such as section 72 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, VAT evasion, and section 106 of the Tax Management Act 1970, income tax evasion.
Whilst there is an overlap between the common law offence and the statutory offences, Cheating the Public Revenue is often used for the most serious of tax offences such as carousel fraud, or substantial tax fraud not specifically covered by statute.
Cheating the Public Revenue is a ‘conduct offence’ and no actual loss to the Public Revenue needs to be proved by the Prosecution.
The offence can only be tried in the Crown Court where the maximum sentence upon conviction is life imprisonment, which explains why the charge is generally reserved for the most serious offences.
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