The Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (‘AWRS’), which came into force from 1 April 2017, was introduced by HMRC to combat tax fraud in the alcohol supply industry which amounts to more than a billion pounds each year.                    

John Veale of Kangs Solicitors looks at the scheme and the criminal consequences for breach of its requirements.    

The team at Kangs Solicitors has vast experience and is highly regarded nationwide for assisting clients facing HMRC investigations of every nature, including those involving regulatory offences, duty evasion, cheating the revenue and other tax related offences.

Our team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for five consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners.

Other members of the team are ranked in the Legal 500 and also ranked in Chambers & Partners.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our Team at any of our offices detailed below:

Who Needs to Register With AWRS? | Kangs Tax Fraud Defence Solicitors

Registration with AWRS is required where:

  • business sells or arranges the sale of alcohol from a UK premises,
  • sales are made at or after the point when Excise Duty is payable,
  • sales are made to other businesses for onward supply or sale,
  • any business supplies alcohol to another business for re-sale.  

Application for registration with AWRS must be made at least forty-five days before start of trading and proper business planning/systems must be in place to ensure compliance with AWRS criteria.

Compliance With AWRS | Kangs National Fraud Team

  • AWRS requires all UK based businesses selling alcohol to other businesses to apply for approval as from 1 April 2017.
  • There are obligations to ensure on those involved to ensure that all necessary businesses have been approved and allotted a unique AWRS reference number.
  • This unique AWRS reference number should be displayed on invoices.
  • Buyers of alcohol check the validity of the AWRS number on the on-line service (in a similar fashion to the duty to verify the validity of a VAT registration number).

Penalties Upon Conviction For Breach | Kangs Regulatory Team

Failure to register with AWRS and comply with its requirements may result in prosecution with conviction leading to:     

  • a maximum fine of £10,000,
  • and/ or a prison sentence of up 7 years.
  • forfeiture of the alcohol.

How We Can Help? | HMRC Defence Solicitors

We have been representing clients in the alcohol industry for over twenty years and offer services to assist businesses and individuals resolve issues and disputes with HMRC in the following areas:

How To Contact Us | Kangs National Fraud Offences Defence Solicitors

Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of solicitors nationally reputed for its excellence in HMRC investigations.

We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.

Our team of lawyers is available to meet at our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange an initial no obligation meeting via telephone or video conferencing.

If you are subject to any investigation by HMRC in connection with your involvement in the alcohol trade or other trading activity, or if you need assistance with AWRS registration, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Kangs Solicitors through any of the following who will be pleased to speak to you:

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Tim Thompson
tthompson@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | | 0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396