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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, I'm wholesaler of Alcoholic drinks. Just as a bit of background

Resolved Question:

Hi, I’m wholesaler of Alcoholic drinks. Just as a bit of background I have never dealt with physical cash all my invoices to me have been paid via BACS and all payments to suppliers have been via BACS payments. Also, all my suppliers have undertook a WIGAN check as well as Due Diligence Exchange providing me a detailed due diligence pack on the company and director.
I have been working in this industry for approx. 3 years. I have been working trouble free until a year ago when I received stock from a regular supplier which was then seized by customs on the morning of delivery. They deemed this stock not to be duty paid therefore seized the stock collating to 50 mixed pallets of beers.
I provided them with all documents i.e. delivery note, invoice, Purchase order and even due diligence information. 12 months later I received a duty loss letter saying they value the loss to be at approx. £49,000 and require payment. As I had not paid for these goods I referred them to my supplier stating that if this was the case I have been duped into believing them as all their Invoices also clearly stated as “Duty Paid Stock” on the bottom of each invoice.
HMRC have not responded to any letters I have sent stating have they looked at the info I provided as to why I believe I’m not liable and I’m still awaiting a response.
More recently, it has been brought to my attention that 2 of my supplier’s one being a former supplier who we are having the above issue with and a current supplier were arrested and bailed on money laundering charges.
I would like to know how or if this affects me regarding my current trading? and If my suppliers decide to liquidate their companies does that mean I am liable for any VAT loss that may have been incurred by HMRC as I have been associated with them?
Kind Regards
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know whether you have chased HMRC for a response?
Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

I sent them a letter stating have you took into account the documents I provided from my supplier in relation to that particular stock and I'm still awaiting a response.

Alex Watts :

Ok. You should write a formal complaint - I can't see how you are liable.

Alex Watts :

You can ask for a review of the decision - they have to respond to that.

Alex Watts :

If they do not find in your favour then you can ask the Adjudicator to look at it

Alex Watts :

But they must give you a formal response.

Alex Watts :

I would suggest sending another letter but make sure it is recorded delivery.

Alex Watts :

For more information please see:

Alex Watts :

https://www.gov.uk/complain-to-hm-revenue-and-customs

Alex Watts :

But make sure you register a formal complaint.

Alex Watts :

I really can't see how you are liable, this is between them and your supplier

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Hey, they are implying in conversations I previously had that doing due diligence is not enough, you need to make sure the are purchasing from a reputable supplier who has a w5 if needed. My suppliers response to me when I asked them was simply what stops you going directly to our supplier ,?

Alex Watts :

If it says VAT and duty paid on the invoice, what else can you do????!!!

Customer:

Thats why I'm seeking advice. I want to know basically if these suppliers decided to shut shop even thoe I have fully paid any invoices outstanding can HMRC down the line state as their has been a loss lets go down the chain and rclaim

Customer:

...reclaim the loss from their customer i.e ME ?

Alex Watts :

You can't be liable. You have not had the goods, they have not been paid for and as such you have no control.

Alex Watts :

So no, you wont be liable

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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