Pledge to tackle alcohol fraud

29 October, 2010

Wholesalers have welcomed the government’s pledge to crack down on alcohol fraud.

Chancellor George Osborne has pledged £900 million to tackle tax avoidance, evasion, fraud and debt, and the spending review highlighted alcohol duty fraud as an area to receive additional resources.

Recent HMRC estimates say duty fraud cost the Exchequer up to £550 million in 2008/9 in lost excise duty and VAT for beer alone. The cost for all types of alcohol fraud is likely to be more than £1.2 billion a year in lost revenue, according to the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “We have consistently made the case to government that alcohol fraud is one area where it needs to invest to tackle the problem, and we are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to us and committed extra resources.

“By clamping down on wholesalers and retailers who handle non-duty-paid alcohol products, HMRC will prevent extensive losses to the Treasury and our members will benefit from the disruption of the illegal supply chain.”

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