For Business

VAT & indirect tax

VAT and indirect taxes are complex areas to understand. To ensure you are not missing out or leaving yourself open to any potential penalties, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the labyrinth of complex laws.

VAT and duty planning is essential in order for you to benefit where you are entitled to, and to comply with ever changing legislation.

Helping you achieve you goals

Our indirect tax planning services include:

  • Helping you determine whether any of the available HMRC VAT schemes would be beneficial to your business. For example:
  • Flat rate VAT scheme
  • Annual accounting VAT scheme
  • VAT retail schemes/reviews
  • Advising on land and property transactions to minimise VAT
  • Advising on structuring business acquisitions and sales, including group reorganisations to minimise VAT
  • Reviewing the international implications of any transactions
  • Advising on the most efficient ways to trade internationally and helping you register for any appropriate schemes

How can we help you?

Our compliance services include:

  • Helping you determine whether you need to register for VAT
  • Registering for VAT
  • Completion of VAT returns of particular transactions where complex tax rules apply
  • Reviews of partial exemption agreements and calculations
  • Deregistering for VAT
  • Helping you prepare for HMRC VAT assurance visits, including pre-inspection ‘health check’ and attendance on the site during any visit
  • Negotiating with HMRC on your behalf during any disputes, including presenting cases at tribunal
  • Assisting with the renewal of duty simplification schemes and changes to your guarantee

Client story

VAT treatment of payments under sponsorship agreement between sports club and charity

Background: HMRC had asserted that the sports club should account for VAT on payments received under a sponsorship agreement with a local charity, and raised an assessment for nearly £100,000. They stated that the fact that the charity’s logo appeared on the player’s jerseys did not mean that the club was providing advertising to the charity (which would be a zero-rated supply). They maintained that, for a supply to amount to ‘advertising’, something specific had to be advertised and the mere display of a logo was insufficient.

How we helped: Working in conjunction with Tax Counsel, we firstly persuaded HMRC to drop their opposition to the club’s hardship application, meaning that the club’s appeal against the assessment could be heard by the Tribunal without prior payment of the VAT demanded. We then put forward a detailed and forceful argument as to why the club’s supply did amount to ‘advertising’, pointing out to HMRC that their stance contradicted guidance in their own manuals! Ultimately HMRC accepted the argument prior to the appeal being formally heard, and withdrew the assessment (and the threat of associated penalties). We are currently discussing the possibility of compensation for our client’s costs incurred.

Meet the team