VAT: Tax Evasion

Treasury written question – answered on 6th August 2019.

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Photo of Lord Clement-Jones Lord Clement-Jones Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Digital)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of China in relation to addressing online VAT fraud; and what steps they are taking as a result.

Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have increased their engagement with China Customs through the Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer in Beijing. The engagement is designed to tackle undervaluation fraud, including online VAT fraud, with the help of the Chinese authorities. This has included a memorandum of understanding, set up in 2018, leading to a joint working group and a series of commodity-focused exercises.

In addition, HMRC’s primary focus in tackling the VAT issue has been with the online marketplaces through which those sellers operate, as this has proven to be an effective way of improving their compliance. The Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme supports this compliance activity by regulating the sites where overseas sellers store imported goods prior to their sale.

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