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What Is Carousal Fraud and How Does It Works? 

Carousel fraud is connected with VAT fraud which the residents living in the United Kingdom should be aware of. Carousel Fraud plays with the zero-rating export and exploits VAT confidently. It interacts with the complete VAT design and creates a problem at a specific point where domestic and foreign affairs mainly interact.  

 Carousel Fraud is also known as Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud – MTICF. Imported things, particularly goods, are illegally subjected to VAT, and that is how certain people got trapped in the most versatile chain of forgers, which is called Carousel Fraud. Carousel fraud can be clarified by going through a detailed example.  

 Let’s suppose a small limited company named A, which is VAT registered. Company A exports the products to another limited company B, situated in another state, mainly the UK. Let’s suppose the transaction was made for 1000 bucks. Clearly mentioned, the export was zero-rated, and no extra amount of tax was charged legally. But looking into deeper details, company A has reclaimed all the VAT inputs that were paid before. It does not mean company A is a fraud. In fact, in most cases, company A is innocent and unaware of all the fraud steps after the export. 

 The Missing Trader 

The most important fact that should be fulfilled at the very initial stage is that company B should be VAT registered; only then will it proceed further. From here, it might be considered that you have to pass through a legal procedure for doing an illegal thing. Molding and manipulating laws in your favor make things easy for the VAT exploiters.  

 Company B, which pays no tax on the imports, can be referred to as missing traders because it disappears without remitting the VAT to the government. Company B sells the goods to another company named C. company B is free from any tax allegation at the time of imports and is protected by the VAT deferral scheme offered by the government. Let’s assume X amount of tax is currently applicable on the transferred goods from one company to another.  

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When company B transfers its goods to company C, an additional amount X will be added, not as VAT but as a total charged price. That is how company C will be fooled, and the transactions will be made without any VAT remittance to revenue. The VAT is considered as a wholesome output VAT by company B. 

If certain checkpoints are noticed and a previous source of goods is investigated, a company can easily escape from the place of “buffer.” The whole game is played by writing the amount wholly as an actual price and not the additional VAT charged. That’s the main thing that is missing over here. Hiring a tax specialist or investigating at this point might save you from being fooled. 

 Company C purchases the goods from company B by paying the actual price plus the VAT amount. It might sell the products to another company named D with the VAT prices included. Company C can be openly called a buffer because it is unaware of being involved in a fraud chain. Many companies might be included in this buffer section because forgers usually have a protracted strategy to play with. 

 The final destination is company D, which sells the products back to company A outside the state and claims back VAT. But wait, how can a company refund VAT to someone on the goods that were zero-rated from the very initial point. That’s when the fraud gets exposed, and company D realizes the actual happening. So, the transition between the United Kingdom and any other foreign state through a long path can be vulnerable to VAT fraud and other risk factors.  

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 Cat buglers do the same thing. They steal with such accuracy that people can’t notice their footsteps and catch them at that moment. VAT fraudsters steal the VAT amount, and when the cycle reaches company D interacting with company A, that’s when the cat comes out of the bag. Surprisingly, sometimes the circle goes on, adding value further and playing with companies simultaneously. 

 Double Fraud 

The cash refund at export and the stealing of money by company B makes it a double Fraud. A saw has a tooth on its one side, but when a company gets indulged in the VAT Fraud cycle, it is affected by two saw teeth simultaneously. A double amount is misplaced at two spots making money refund and remittance in not a balanced condition. 


It should be considered that the carousel fraud invades when the purchase and sales are made in two distinct regions far apart from each other following different rules and regulations. Although the direct fraud step occurs in one area, only the roots lie in the other region. Understanding the cause and making yourself aware of all the terms and conditions would facilitate your ways. 

 The more you know about your tax system and other manipulation, the more difficult it will be for a tax stealer to perform his job. If you are doing your job accurately, you are making your transactions safer and safer. 

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 The Carousel Fraud can be openly referred to as an international VAT fraud that interacts with different dealers internationally and makes things clumsy due to differences in currencies and other legislation. But educating you and making your company stable by improving the literacy rate can save you from various frauds. It will let you invest more and boost your confidence at the same time. Lastly, the importance of invoices should never be ignored. While dealing with the companies that are foreign to you, make sure to go through all the terms and conditions that can be approached easily to protect your company from any misguidance and mishandling. 


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