3 arrested after Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) crackdown

3 arrested after Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) crackdown

HMRC has been targeting till fraud after new powers were introduced resulting in the arrest of 3 individuals across the UK.

Electronic Sales Suppression (ESS) systems help the user hide or reduce the cost of till sales to evade the correct tax to be paid. HMRC can now enforce fines of up to £50,000 and start criminal investigations as they increase efforts to target this tax evasion process.

30 shops, takeaways and restaurants were visited by HMRC officers across England on 18th May 2022 where 2 men and 1 woman were arrested in Nottinghamshire alleged to have been supplying ESS software.  The charges on the 3 people were suspicion of fraud and cheating the revenue.  

At 3 addresses, computers, digital devices, and paperwork was seized.  All 3 suspects have been released under investigation.

ESS works by the user taking the sale of goods using either ESS software or a modified Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) which looks like the sales have genuinely gone through the system.  In actual fact the end-of-day reporting is manipulated to reduce reported takings, effectively avoiding any tax to be paid.

Once the HMRC have found the businesses using ESS, they can recover the tax evaded from the software or hardware which can result in criminal convictions.

HMRC offers a voluntary disclosure facility to anyone using an ESS to reduce any financial fines and penalties in the future.

Please find out more about tax investigations, COP 8 or COP 9, and contact Tax Advisory UK if any of these issues should affect you

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