Working in collaboration with you to achieve the right goals
The aim is to provide commercial, realistic, rounded advice on VAT that is easy to understand and the reasoning explained to support the conclusion.
We aim to communicate complex VAT issues in a straight forward way.
Working with other tax disciplines and your existing advisors to give well rounded advice - taxes especially do not compliment each other in many circumstances so often there is a trade off to be made. However tax consequences should never lead a business decision.
In any advisory role we look for opportunities to benefit the business or organisation.
Evaluation of risk and advise the potential solutions is part of what we do.
Setting up better controls and procedures to minimise risk creates business confidence and better relations with HMRC.
Using anything within the VAT regime which might be advantageous for the business or organisation is perfectly acceptable and if it fits with the organisations procedures should be implemented.
Business Assessment / Evaluation
Accountants / Solicitors / Businesses / Organisations
- Do you have a VAT advisory need?
- How much VAT work can you generate - what due diligence have you done to evaluate this?
- How much VAT work do you already have?
- Where are the options you may have to meet that need?
- Are you using the right people for the right work?
-Setting up a plan of development
-Assistance in recruiting the right person where a need is identified
Having over 25 years' experience in setting up business departments we can provide help with all the above and make sure you use your resources and money in the most effective way.
Tax payers are legally able to mitigate tax, supported by long held legal authority.
Early consultation is the key to avoid pitfalls whilst seeking the best advantages that VAT allows you.
The VAT affects should never lead commercial decision making but it is important you know the effect it will have and what friction might be caused with other taxes for example.
Sometimes small changes, backed up by commercial rational, can make significant changes to the tax due.
For example minor changes to property plans can sometimes change the liability from 20% to 0% for the work being carried out.
There are also ways at looking at a supply and making strategic decisions that can change liabilities to VAT on a commercially sensible basis to lessen the VAT burden.
Forward planning can usually save time and money in the long term. However VAT is often the forgotten tax when forging ahead with plans but can have devastating consequences when considered at the last minute.
It also helps with cash projections and cash flow planning for projects to include the VAT consequences.
It is a large cost if you get it wrong or did not factor in the tax effect. At 20% it will affect margins and can completely wipe out expected profit.
Usually general compliance issues can be done in house or by existing advisors.
However it can be helpful to employ a specialist:
- Where you may recognise weaknesses in your procedures, you expand into new areas such as international trade etc. or you find errors and need to declare these to HMRC in the right way.
- To do a risk assessment which will lead to errors being found, solutions put in place, strengthening of controls and ultimately a better relationship and reliability score with HMRC.
- Who can also identify staff knowledge in VAT matters and where further training would be helpful.
Reviews can be tailored from full reviews, to by department, or focused on just one or two areas.
Identifying errors before HMRC gives you the opportunity to make adjustments in a next return where possible, or to make a voluntary disclosure and avoid the draconian penalty regime.
Again we can work with your existing advisors to improve the quality of your VAT compliance.
There are still many opportunities in the VAT regime to improve cash flow planning, choosing options that compliment your existing procedures and maximising your position.
HMRC have quite a number of helpful systems for all sizes and types of business or organisation which can be considered. Sometimes they suit a business and sometimes not but if there is a cash flow advantage to be had which can be implemented it makes sense to do so.
The way VAT works might make you a tax collector but you can manage the process and make it work for you in certain circumstances.
A lot of businesses and organisations are still missing out on savings and cash flow just because they are unaware what is available.
With staff cuts, poor morale and more requirements to take on more disciplines in the tax environment it is no surprise that HMRC staff are under intense pressure.
In our experience the need to assess is high on the HMRC's Officer's agenda, but often the basis of assessment is incorrect.
Unfortunately this particularly affects small and medium sized businesses and organisations adversely.
Often the business will simply agree with HMRC's position rather than questioning it.
HMRC also, in our opinion, rely on that position and the tight commercial environment we find ourselves in to ensure businesses will not challenge what they do, rather than disputing a ruling and fighting a just cause.
The cost of professional fees can be seen as a huge hurdle to disputing a ruling with HMRC but it is important to explore what might be available and at what cost as it is often much more cost effective to fight the ruling for the longer term benefit of the business.
If you do not think a decision from HMRC is correct then let us look at it for you. We can give you a realistic assessment of your position, give you an idea of grounds for appeal and then you can make an informed decision.
So are we living in a new world now?
Chances are we are not. VAT is such a huge revenue earner that the UK will almost certainly retain VAT as a revenue generator however they will have more control about which rates apply to what goods and services once we exit the EU.
It will also change the approach in the Courts as EU law will no longer have direct effect, but it still may be persuasive.
The UK will have more flexibility to govern its own VAT regime and it is expected certain trade sectors will be lobbying hard for lower rates to apply to their industry.
Day to day VAT matters are unlikely to change except where cross-border transactions are involved.
Once the UK is free of the EU it is possible the UK may embark on a wholesale review of the VAT system or change it to a goods and services tax etc. but given the worlds trend to VAT systems a radical change seems unlikely.
The hope will be that certain simplifications can be made to help business and organisations in the long term