Report No. 61
6.18. Overcharging whether amounts to a representation.-
The first question, then, to be considered, is whether there is a representation by a dealer when he over-charges tax. It is well-established that a representation may be by words or by conduct. Verbal assertions or direct representations are not required to constitute deception. "Actions speak louder than words". In an English case often cited1, it was pointed out that if a wrong-doer who pretends to be a college student, by putting on clothes peculiar to the students of a particular college, goes to a shop and thus obtains goods at credit, he would be guilty of the (statutory) offence of obtaining goods by "false pretences2", even though he did not say that he was a member of the college. In the present case, of course, there is really something more than an implied assertion or assertion by conduct; there is an express demand. Hence there is no doubt that there is a representation.
1. Rex v. Barnard, (1837) 7 car and P 784.
2. See now, Theft Act, 1968, section 15.