As busy professionals you want to focus on getting the job done. In our industry deadlines need to be met. You don’t want to be distracted with VAT queries that are not part of your core expertise. In recognition of this we have developed a range of services which can be adapted to the requirements of all types of organisation from creative agencies to brands and everything in between.
So why use professional consultants?
Applying VAT correctly is not just about compliance. It can also help you win and retain clients, improve ROI, and expand your portfolio of industry expertise. For clients in sectors such as financial services, charity, healthcare and gaming, the cost of VAT has to be factored in to the marketing budget because they may not be able to reclaim part or all of the VAT charged.
If you don’t offer effective VAT mitigation then a competitor (probably one of our clients!) surely will.
There will always be some businesses, whether through ignorance or arrogance that will offer to do just about anything without charging VAT. We know which side of the fence we’d rather be on when the VAT inspector knocks.
Our clients engage with us in a variety of ways from one off enquiries to a fully retained support. The main types of service we offer are explained below:
One of our most popular services is our “VAT Healthcheck” which offers a comprehensive assessment of your current situation. We identify whether you are maximising the VAT mitigation opportunities available to you to ensure you are competitive and importantly that you are compliant and not exposed to any potential liabilities. We can help you make retrospective claims for any VAT that may have been incorrectly charged and provide recommendations for a robust VAT mitigation strategy going forward. For full details of our VAT Healthcheck solution please click here.
We can assist you with determining the VAT liability of supplies you are making or supplies you are receiving. This could range from a simple leaflet to a multi-channel marketing campaign. For instance you could submit an email enquiry with PDF artwork attached and we can provide you with written confirmation of the VAT liability.
For our clients with demanding workloads we can install our unique “Zero%” VAT assessment software which allows client users to carry out their own VAT assessments using our proven methodology.
VAT mitigation strategies
In addition to VAT assessments our core work is helping businesses to maximise VAT mitigation opportunities. We work with both suppliers and customers. You may be familiar with some of the key areas of VAT mitigation already such as The Package Test, single sourcing and charity relief. These can be very complex areas of VAT and without professional advice you could be unwittingly exposing your business to VAT liabilities and your customers to unexpected additional costs.
Training and workshops
We can provide individual training or workshop style formats for larger groups of users. It’s unlikely many people would stick both hands in the air if asked “Do you want to attend a workshop about VAT?” but our content and delivery ensure that it’s relevant and practical to your everyday requirements. If nothing else at least they’ll be coffee and cake…
Dealing with HMRC
These days a VAT inspection is called an “assurance visit”. Most people find these anything but reassuring. It doesn’t have to be a panic. With our Best practice guidance you can avoid unnecessary complications. In addition we can also obtain written rulings, “a clearance” on your behalf from HMRC. Many businesses do not get the answers they were hoping for when writing to HMRC. This is because the submissions must satisfy certain requirements otherwise you’ll likely find you get an inconclusive response or nothing more than a suggestion that you look up the answer in the appropriate VAT Notice!
Tenders and pitches
So…a phone directory sized invitation to tender has just landed on your desk. There’s a whole section that asks about your approach to VAT mitigation. Do you wing it or do you come and talk to us? We’ll not only add credibility to your submission but we’ll also be able to ensure a client isn’t asking you to indulge in any “rogue practices” in order to avoid VAT.
Best practice guidance
It’s not only important to be compliant but to have a system to make sure you are compliant. Businesses go to great lengths to maintain compliance in areas such as data handling and health and safety. The same should be the case with VAT. We can show you best practice procedures and how to avoid pitfalls and penalties.
Newsletters and updates
Times change, legislation changes. We’ll make sure you are in the know with everything from a rate increase (let’s be realistic, it’s not coming down!) to the impact of new legislation or the findings of tribunals and court rulings. You can subscribe to our newsletter service or for our retained clients this is included in the service.
You’ve identified a business to buy. Everything looks great, you’re about to sign the deal. Are you sure your potential acquisition isn’t a ticking time bomb of VAT liabilities? We can help you do appropriate due diligence to avoid any risk.
Like all reputable professional advisors we have professional indemnity cover. We protect you by protecting ourselves.