What are the penalties for duty evasion in the UK? Duty evasion is a synonym for evading taxes when bringing in an imported good into the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, individuals and businesses are expected to pay the necessary amounts of tax as per the law. Failure to do so can lead to severe penalties, which can vary from one case to the other. It’s in your best interest to pay the taxes to avoid being penalised for it in the future. This article highlights what the penalties are for duty evasion so that you know just how integral it is to never miss an opportunity to pay the taxes you owe to the government.

Penalties for Duty Evasion in the UK

As mentioned above, some cases can have more severe penalties—with the severest leading to jail time as well. If you or your business is ever dealing with charges of duty evasion, you should hire solicitors trained and experienced in this aspect of the law to help protect your interests to the best of their abilities. Your legal team may also be able to reduce the severity of the penalties by employing an effective defense strategy. Thus, it’s crucial that you get legal representation from the very start to be able to get the best possible outcome given the situation.

With that said, here are the penalties for duty evasion in the UK.

You can be charged with a summary conviction, or you may have a Crown Court case. A summary conviction is a petty or minor offence. Therefore, with this conviction, you may be able to settle the case without the right to a trial or jury. As they are minor offences, the penalties are also not severe. Thus, summary convictions of evasion of duty have no jail time, but you will have to pay a fine. The maximum fine is £20,000. You also will be expected to the duty you owe the government pertaining to the product being smuggled. It’s important to note that you have to knowingly be transporting these goods for you to be charged with evasion of duty. So, speak to your lawyer about what your options are regarding this matter.

Crown Court cases have more severe penalties. These cases involve major offences, so an individual charged with duty evasion can be sentenced to a maximum of seven years of imprisonment. In addition, there is an unlimited fine that can be set. Penalties for duty evasion in the UK under this category can be lower as well.

Final Words

Having a capable legal team can inform you about which category of duty evasion your case falls into. As a result, they can determine the possible penalties for your case and devise a defense strategy that may be able to reduce some of those penalties.