Examples


Breadth and depth of knowledge to suit any problem

Examples of the type of work done previously

The points below are only some examples to give you an idea of what we do and is not an exhaustive list but we hope it shows the depth and breadth of what we advise on. There is very little we have not advised on in over 25 years of consulting experience.

Property

- Churches, church property, Scout premises etc -
  • The issues are usually around building projects to existing buildings and whether they can qualify as an extension, enlargement, annex or separate building.
  • Work consists of being involved during the planning stages as often small changes to planning can mean the zero rate can apply rather than the standard rate to construction services which makes a big difference to the pressures on fund raising.
- School / Public House conversations to residential -
  • This usually involves conversations and negotiations around how much existing residential there is and how this comes into the proposals around the residential conversion and whether all or only some of the construction services can qualify for the reduced rate.
- Commercial buildings -
  • The Option to tax has a big influence here on the ability to recover VAT.
  • Mixed use creates its own issues.
  • There are also the dis-application rules for the option which are complicated and can be triggered unintentionally just by not taking them into account or understanding them.
  • We are also now in the years where revoking after 20 years becomes possible and this can make properties more attractive to purchasers or tenants.
  • And last but not least the Capital Goods Scheme which is often forgotten.
Residential -
  • For new residential it should be remembered not everything qualifies for the zero rate.
  • Our work often entails working though the plans and scope of work to ensure the right rules are applied.
  • There are also better ways of sourcing materials where the zero can be kept to apply.
We can provide guidance on fixtures and fittings which do and do not qualify as this is a complex area for people to understand.

Liability Challenges

  • A school was challenges about its VAT position and about whether exemption should apply to some, if not all of its supplies. The effect on funding would have been a real issue but we were able to get HMRC to back off, although it took two years!
  • A car supplier was challenged over the supply of cars to the disabled and whether there was enough adaptation to qualify for the zero rate. After much correspondence and an appearance at Tribunal the case was won for full zero rating to apply.
  • Organising a commercial operation in certain ways allows different VAT rates to apply to different parts of the services offered or the separation of a goods supply from services. Clear commercial planning is required to achieve this but we have done this successfully despite HMRC challenge.
  • There can be anomalies in VAT treatment of the same type of business across different companies and it should be challenged when this occurs. Often back claims of VAT are available. At least a level playing field can be established.
  • Food liabilities are incredibly complicated and when creating new products or new businesses in this area early advice is a must. If VAT is not factored in as a potential cost or at least covered as a potential issue in supply contracts it can be a nasty surprise with no possibility to recover from your purchasers.

International Trade

  • Early advice concerning a proposed supply chain or change to a supply chain can cause issues not only in the UK but in other Member States (and given Brexit will become more key! )
  • Clients have created registration issues unbeknown to them just by not structuring contracts properly.
  • We have been involved with suppliers to well known airlines where registration was required in over 19 countries and the rules were all different, some very hard to get over.
  • Similarly we have been involved to supplies to the cruise ships which bring up similar registration issues and, for example, a need to appoint a tax agent in Italy subject to joint and several liability. These are not that easy to find who will charge sensible rates.
  • This is a very complex area and the contractual arrangements are key to obtaining the most VAT efficient position, with many hidden traps and pitfalls. It requires full disclosure by the client of everything contemplated even when they may not see the relevance to VAT.

NOT-For-Profit Organisations

  • Whether these are Charities, Housing Associations, Trade Associations, Trade Unions, Members Clubs, Museums etc their VAT position is always very complicated.
  • Whether it is Business / Non Business concerns, Partial Exemption issues and all the other VAT complexities it can be a nightmare for anyone in the organisation to understand.
  • Having worked with all of these over the years we can be helpful in educating staff and / or management, give a sympathetic ear to their worries and sort out their problems.
  • For example how to achieve the VAT liability they want on sponsorship which can be different depending on the situation.
  • Fund raising can be a difficult minefield as well.

Landed Estates

  • Given the pressure on such Estates to diversify VAT becomes complicated and they need to understand what each activity attracts in terms of the rates of VAT.
  • Inheritance tax planning many mean assets need to be moved around and the VAT consequences need to be understood.
  • It is also important not to create an unnecessary VAT loss by setting up cross charges etc.
  • Property issues arise across the board as there is usually listed buildings, commercial property, residential, fishing rights, shoots, land lets for all sorts of activities and more to be considered which are likely to be complex. The Estate just wants to get on with it but the tax considerations must be understood.
  • We have spent a lot of time with land agents as a hot line of advice to help them as different activities and decisions arise.

Other Businesses / Organisations worked with

  • Hospitals
  • Holiday providers
  • Commercial Golf Courses / Members only Clubs
  • Shoots
  • Academies
  • Colleges
  • Section 33 Bodies i.e. Local Councils
  • Antiques traders with international trade
  • Owners of historic vehicles and aircraft
  • Horse related activities
  • Care Homes
  • Guernsey and Jersey Trusts
  • Transport related industry
  • Finance Companies and Insurance Companies
  • Retailers of all sorts, especially now with online sales
  • Solar Panel providers
  • Recruitment Companies
  • Holiday Companies