A complex tax that can often be overlooked, VAT typically comprises a significant part of most company’s cash flow operations.
With VAT legislation becoming more restrictive and HMRC becoming increasingly aggressive in its approach towards business tax compliance, it is now more important than ever to ensure that your VAT affairs are in order and that you have been able to maximise the VAT savings available to you and minimise your VAT cost.
Our clients cover a variety of industry sectors, including non-profit making bodies, international corporations and smaller owner-managed businesses. Our VAT team has extensive experience in all areas of VAT planning, VAT investigations work and general compliance matters and would be delighted to assist you further.
We assist our clients on both UK and international VAT. Our established membership of the HLB International network allows us to provide joined-up advice to our clients whose business may involve cross-border transactions or activities that reach beyond the UK. We also help online traders to fulfil their EU VAT compliance obligations via the amavat ® initiative. This is a unique solution delivered using the close relationships and expertise within the international network.
We are acutely aware of the uncertainty that businesses and organisations have faced following Brexit. We are listening to our clients’ concerns and we can advise on the impacts businesses have seen, such as increasing real-time costs, as well as administrative burdens, in relation to the importation of goods and VAT reporting.
Our approach is to bring practical, tailored and commercial solutions to the table, to improve compliance and maximise available reliefs, reducing costs wherever possible without compromising on integrity.
Domestic Reverse VAT Charge for Building and Construction Services
The new Domestic Reverse VAT Charge for Building and Construction Services (DRC) came into force on 1 March 2021, requiring the recipient of certain services, rather than the supplier, to account for the VAT due to HMRC. Read our blog for full details.
VAT is a tax chargeable on taxable supplies made in the UK by taxable persons. Credit is given for VAT paid to other businesses and the net balance is payable or reclaimable - normally on a quarterly basis.
A taxable person is any person carrying on a business which is, or is required to be registered for VAT and includes the following:
We offer a range of VAT services, including advice on:
In addition to VAT, our VAT team also provides advice on Customs and Excise duties and environmental taxes.
Click here to download our Introduction to VAT brochure.
We recognise that Charities and Not-for-Profit organisations can have complex VAT profiles and there are often VAT issues that may need to be considered. Charities make up a significant proportion of our client base and we are proud to be an established provider of quality and cost-effective VAT advice to this valuable section of society.
We appreciate the uniqueness of each charity’s approach to its service delivery, and we therefore aim to work in a collaborative way with all our charity clients by taking into account the aims and objectives of the organisation as whole, as well as those at a financial level. This allows us to draw on our range of experience across different sectors to provide bespoke VAT advice. Our VAT healthcheck is also a useful tool for organisations in this sector, which can help identify any potential risk areas at the same time as identifying possible VAT savings opportunities, such as tapping into unused VAT reliefs.
We work with charities of all sizes and we provide advice to both VAT registered and non-VAT registered charities. We have identified below some of the main areas where we can provide support to charities and non-for-profit organisations:
Find out more about our Charities & Not-for-profit sector experience here.
French Duncan's VAT Partner Maria McConnell is the UK Tax Adviser & Customer Relations Consultant for Online Sellers for amavat, a VAT compliance service for traders that sell and buy via Amazon, across Europe.
Getting VAT right is essential for international trade. When using fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) an obligation to register for VAT locally can be created – we are able to guide you through this process.
To find out more about our amavat service please click here.
Whilst VAT is a 'self-assessing' tax, this does not mean it is straightforward. We offer a VAT Health Check service which looks at various aspects of your business to ensure you don’t have any undetected VAT issues and to establish where there may be possible VAT savings to be made. This will generally include a review of the following areas:
A tax investigation or HMRC enquiry into an individual's or company's affairs can be a very stressful and costly time for those involved.
Tax officials can open a variety of enquiries into a taxpayer’s affairs, ranging from general tax enquiries to in-depth fraud investigations. We assist our clients in navigating the HMRC enquiry process, however simple or complex, ensuring that they feel comfortable that they are being best represented. Typically we will manage this on their behalf, seeking to deal direct with HMRC and minimise disruption to our clients.
Our clients benefit from access to both a breadth and depth of tax technical knowledge and practical experience as a result of our multidisciplinary team containing experts in accounting, corporation tax, VAT, employment taxes, income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
We work closely with our clients to determine the key facts pertinent to the events under enquiry and help them to present their case clearly and concisely but with the utmost robustness. We will continually be considering our clients communications in order to mitigate penalties as best possible.
Our experience includes successfully taking enquiries through the Alternative Dispute Resolution process, as well as to First Tier Tribunal, if agreement with the enquiring inspector has not been possible.
It is not unusual for us to act on behalf other accountants where the incumbent advisor may be at an impasse with HMRC or may lack the depth of expertise we have on hand.
French Duncan offer a Tax Investigations Service, which will cover you for our fees that result from you or your business being investigated by HMRC. Find out more here.
Partner & Head of VAT
0141 221 2984
0141 221 2984
Maria started her career in HMRC over 20 years ago in the Thames Valley, where she was involved in both VAT and Excise and Inland Customs. From there, she returned to Scotland, joining a Big Four practice, specialising in VAT. She spent a number of years with PKF and BDO, prior to joining French Duncan in 2015 as a senior manager.
Having spent more than two decades working in VAT, Maria is experienced in assisting her clients to understand and manage how VAT affects their business.
Maria has experience in dealing with businesses across all sectors. She is regularly involved in the charity and not for profit sector, property development and construction, retail, manufacturing and international business issues. Advice provided to clients ranges from land and property planning matters, demergers and due diligence issues, partial exemption and Capital Goods Scheme calculations to place of supply advice and contractual VAT planning as well as the provision of in-depth VAT reviews and bespoke training courses.
Maria adopts a down to earth approach to dealing with VAT issues for her clients, keeping them well informed on relevant matters, whilst providing robust and reliable technical advice.
VAT Senior Manager
0141 221 2984
0141 221 2984
Jennifer has been advising on VAT for over 15 years, working for HMRC for 7 years before moving into practice. During this time, she has assisted clients across all sectors providing a wide range of technical advice on issues such as land and property transactions including Capital Good Scheme implications, transfer of going concerns, cross border sales and place of supply of services, amongst other things.
Jennifer also has extensive experience in dealing with VAT tribunal cases, alternative dispute resolution meetings with HMRC and assisting clients with more routine HMRC VAT inspections.
Jennifer’s wide range of experience allows her to provide relevant and up to date technical advice to her clients, helping them to avoid the common VAT pitfalls experienced by businesses.
0141 271 3955
0141 271 3955
Joseph has been working in VAT since graduating in 2016, having started his career working as a VAT trainee gaining a wide variety of experience across many sectors.
Since joining FD in 2019 as a VAT Assistant, Joseph has been involved with the operation of the Amavat service line, which assists EU based online marketplace businesses with their UK VAT compliance responsibilities
As part of his role, Joseph manages a large client portfolio, providing assistance and guidance on all compliance matters such as preparation of UK VAT registration applications, submission of VAT returns and corrections to previously submitted returns. Joseph also advises clients on VAT and customs issues that are linked to intra EU trading.
Joseph prides himself on his friendly and professional relationship with clients, enabling open communication and collaboration to help resolve any compliance issues that might arise. Providing responses to complex VAT issues in a manner that is easy to understand is an important part of Joseph’s approach.