An input tax claim made by a someone who is deliberately attempting to cheat the exchequer of money which they know they are not entitled to is, clearly, an example of fraud and HMRC have the power to deny that claim (and they may impose civil penalties or, in some cases, take criminal action). The situation is more complicated in cases where HMRC cannot prove deliberate behaviour or where an innocent or unwitting taxpayer is caught up in fraud perpetrated by someone else.

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