We provide VAT consultancy and related compliance services to businesses ranging from sole traders to multi-national companies. As most businesses and circumstances are different, we normally tailor our project scope depending on your needs and requirements. We think this makes our advice cost-effective, whilst maintaining the high quality you, and we, expect. We have set out below a taste of the VAT services we typically find ourselves involved in, but if you would like our assistance with something a bit "left field", we like a challenge too!
Bespoke general VAT consultancy
Much of the VAT advice we offer falls under this category and this ranges from advice on one-off projects (for example, reviewing a company's position to confirm whether an agency or principal model is best; assessing a transaction as to whether it qualifies as a Transfer of a Going Concern; reviewing a new product/service to determine the optimal VAT treatment; providing detailed guidance on your full VAT profile) to ongoing ad-hoc assistance with VAT queries.
Assistance with HMRC disputes and error corrections
We speak with HMRC on a regular basis, both to act on business' behalf in correcting VAT errors (both positive and negative!) and in representing businesses involved in disputes with HMRC. Whatever the circumstances, we aim to ensure that matters with HMRC are dealt with as effectively as possible, and that a good and fair deal is reached.
Remember that HMRC's role for your business is to ensure that the correct amount of VAT is paid...they are not "out to get you"! Having said this, HMRC are human and do not always get things correct, meaning that we don't always agree with their views. We have a great deal of experience in disputes and are proud to say that we have improved the situation for our clients in 100% of the cases we have been involved in to date.
VAT Healthchecks and reviews
Our VAT Healthcheck is our only fixed fee product. It is designed as a cost-effective way to give you some comfort and reassurance into your VAT position, and identify any possible opportunities, without posing a large investment to your time or finances. Our Healthcheck takes you through the key questions for VAT based on your business activities, as well as covering general areas of VAT that can go unnoticed.
This service includes:
- A consultation (which may be either face-to-face or by telephone) of 1-2 hours to chat through our tailored Healthcheck.
- A written summary of our findings and whether there are any opportunities or risks identified. This includes recommendations and guidance on next steps if opportunities or risks are identified.
Our fixed fee for this Healthcheck is £450 plus VAT.
VAT for accountants
We hear from a lot of accountants that, although they have a good general knowledge of VAT, there are some areas which are quite niche and require some further expertise. The travel industry, for example, is a good case here!
We have worked with many accountants as external consultants on specific VAT projects, and are happy to provide advice to your clients either as a sub-contractor to you, or by engaging directly with your client. This relationship is entirely up to you, and we will always respect your wishes and avoid stepping on anyone's toes!
VAT due diligence
It's always important to ensure your business has a "clean bill of health" for VAT but one of the most important times to ensure that everything is in order for VAT purposes is pre-deal. Similarly, if you are making a massive investment in buying a business, it is wise to ensure that the VAT profile is sound.
We have assisted in both vendor and target due diligence over many years, and have assisted with many different types of businesses. Although VAT doesn't make-or-break every deal, we have seen situations where deals fall through because of VAT, and where valuation has changed significantly due to VAT, so it is an important area not to be overlooked.
We also advise on deal fees having worked in M&A in our VAT career. As you may know, this can be a highly contentious area for VAT and important to get right!
VAT return reviews and other compliance
Many of our clients like us to review VAT returns each quarter, especially when their affairs are complex or vast. This can be an important part of the "four eyes" compliance procedure, or can be for added peace of mind before submitting to HMRC.
We also assist with other compliance such as VAT registrations, VAT group formation and option to tax notifications. All of these are important to get right, and this can save a big headache later down the line.
International VAT advice
We are pleased to belong to a great network of international VAT experts and are able to recommend some fantastic advisors spanning the EU and beyond, all of whom we have met and worked with.