Since 2007 Richard Allen has worked tirelessly to close tax loopholes and scams and has saved the UK over £1 billion in tax; money that pays for public services including the NHS. His work has also protected UK businesses and jobs. The campaign group he set up, Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes (RAVAS), has become well known as a voice for UK retailers but Richard has done the majority of the work with his own resources. Despite repeated requests made to HMRC by MP's and members of the House of Lords, not only has he never been officially recognised for the enormous good that he has done for the country but he has had to bear the cost.
You can read Richard's story in The New Statesman HERE
I have set up this crowd funding page to raise money for Richard's campaigning efforts to date so that he can recoup some of the costs he has incurred and carry on with his work.
So far Richard's work has :
Closed down the Channel Island VAT Loophole that had been permitted by HMRC, was destroying UK businesses and losing at least £100m per year in tax.
Exposed VAT avoidance and evasion by non UK sellers on the internet saving to date more than £350 million.
Protected UK businesses from unfair VAT free competition
Assisted the UK Government and the EU Commission with the formulation of policy and legislation to prevent online fraud costing billions in lost VAT.
In 2007 Richard's was forced to close his mail order business because he could no longer compete against online traders who were avoiding VAT by sending goods to UK customers via The Channel Islands. Official papers show that HMRC had consistently told Government ministers that this VAT avoiding trade could not be stopped. Richard however, was not prepared to accept this and when officials gave incorrect advice to Government ministers, he made a complaint to the EU Commission and provided them with detailed evidence of what was going on. A threat of legal action forced HMRC officials to give the Government the correct advice and as a result, the VAT avoidance trade was closed down in 2012. This not only saved £200m per year but protected many UK VAT paying businesses and the jobs that they provide.
Richard was widely praised by both UK Businesses and Members of Parliament but HMRC refused to recognise or reward him for the seven that years he had spent on the issue. They also refused to compensate him for the loss of his business, a matter that he tried, unsuccessfully, to pursue through the courts.
The VAT avoiding trade and the huge amount of tax that it lost was the result of a mistake made by HMRC officials that they simply were not prepared to own up to.
In 2009 Richard set up Retailers Against VAT Abuse Schemes (RAVAS) in his garden shed. RAVAS has been acknowledged as an important voice speaking out against those who try and abuse the tax system and gain an unfair advantage.
Richard also helped me and other businesses tackle another fraud in 2015 which led to the recovery of many hundreds of millions of pounds of VAT. HMRC rewarded me but refused to reward Richard or explain why.
Such behaviour is simply unacceptable. HMRC should recognise Richard's incredible contribution.
Richard has worked on this for many years without financial reward or official recognition. I have set up this fund so that those who have benefited from Richard's work can show their appreciation and help him continue his work.