Under investigation or in a dispute with HMRC?
Our VAT experts can guide you through the options that are available and make the process as stress-free as possible.
Need a VAT Health Check?
Are your business systems and processes compliant with HMRC rules? Our experienced VAT experts can conduct a mock inspection to review your ‘VAT health’. To identify areas where you can improve your VAT position.
Need VAT advice on a property transaction?
If you get the VAT treatment wrong it could be extremely costly, with unexpected bills and potentially substantial penalties.
Our VAT Services
VAT Investigations & Disputes
When HMRC launch an investigation, our VAT experts can guide you through the options that are available and make the process as stress-free as possible.
With our advice, there may be the chance to reduce any VAT liabilities (we recently resolved a £4m VAT assessment, for one of our clients, down to zero), penalties due or to structure a more favourable payment plan if required.
We can also assist in resolving queries or disagreements between suppliers, customers and HMRC.
VAT Registration & De-registration
- We can advise on voluntary VAT registration, which may increase the VAT amount an individual/ company can claim back, and backdating a VAT registration which may be beneficial in certain industries.
- VAT deregistration can cause problems if a business has assets on hand at the specified date – we can help with these issues.
VAT Health Check
Is your business ready for a VAT inspection from HMRC? Are your systems and processes compliant? Our experienced VAT consultant Tony Nickson can carry out a “mock inspection” to critically review how your business deals with VAT, highlighting areas of concern and identifying opportunities to improve your VAT position.
Partial Exemption Methods & Calculation
This can be complicated, but we can help set these systems up and provide advice on special methods if required.
VAT on Property & Options To Tax
Getting the VAT treatment wrong on a property transaction could be extremely costly, with unexpected bills and potentially substantial penalties.
Consider VAT at an early stage and identify potential VAT savings.
Special VAT schemes
Cash Accounting Scheme, the Flat-Rate Scheme and the Annual Accounting Scheme may all be used to simplify VAT for your company/business.
We are also used to dealing with VAT payments on account for larger businesses.
We can help you and your business plan for VAT. This can lead to VAT savings in the short/medium term.
Making Tax Digital
We can set you and your business up for making tax digital and provide any software assistance required (i.e. we can submit returns if required on behalf of the company)
For more information please visit our MTD for VAT article.
Our VAT Expertise
VAT is a tax on transactions which is likely to affect the operation of your day-to-day business. Therefore, it is very important for businesses to be compliant with the ever-changing VAT regulations. VAT on services is a complicated area. VAT rates may or may not apply depending on who is providing or buying them, where they are provided and the precise nature of the services provided.
We understand that dealing with HMRC can be time consuming, so Hawsons can help alleviate the complications of VAT/Tax and any penalties/interest that may follow.
At Hawsons we can help assess any VAT risks to your business that may occur. One-off transactions, like purchasing a property, can be fraught with VAT dangers and the likely costs/penalties should a transaction be incorrectly accounted for, can be very costly. Hawsons can help structure any sale/purchase prior to the transaction to alleviate any stress on the business. It is always wise to seek advice before a purchase/sale rather than after, when HMRC may come calling to check VAT records.
Our VAT consultant has over 20 years of experience with HMRC.
Registering a company for VAT
We have recently had to register a company for VAT after their administration had begun. This was due to the fact they had assumed that their supplies where exempt from VAT, whereas they should have been standard rated. We also calculated the VAT owing to HMRC, which allowed the administration to be completed in a timely manner. In this case, the Effective Date of Registration for VAT was not clear and went back many years, which meant our experience was needed to assess the records and come up with a date that HMRC was comfortable with.
When do I have to register for VAT?
I’m not sure when I need to register for VAT, what help can you give me regarding thresholds?
You must register for VAT if your taxable turnover is more than £85,000. However, it may be in your interest to register for VAT if you do not reach this threshold. There are other limits/threshold to be aware of, so please contact Hawsons who will advise on all matters to do with VAT registration.
You must register within 30 days of your business turnover exceeding the threshold. If you register late, you must pay what you owe from when you should have registered.
What VAT rates are there?
What VAT rates do I need to pay? Can I be exempt from VAT?
Standard – 20%; Reduced – 5%; Zero – 0%. Some goods/services may be exempt from VAT or outside the scope of VAT. Here at Hawsons, we can help out clients with the VAT liability of their supplies.
Rates depend on conditions such as:
- who’s providing or buying the goods/services
- where they’re provided
- how they’re presented for sale
- the precise nature of the goods or services
- whether you obtain the necessary evidence
- whether you keep the right records
- whether they’re provided with other goods and services
How can I claim Bad Debt Relief (BDR)?
If your customer has not paid for a supply of goods or services you may be able to claim BDR. Hawsons can help you meet the conditions for claiming BDR.
Bad Debt Relief (BDR)
Various records and evidence must be kept (for four years from the date of claim), in particular, to identify:
- The time and nature of the supply, the purchaser, and the consideration
- The amount of VAT chargeable on the supply
- The accounting period when this VAT was accounted for and paid to HMRC
- Any payment received for the supply
- Entries in the refund for bad debts account
- The accounting period in which the claim is made.
What does Making Tax Digital for VAT, mean for my business?
All VAT registered businesses are now required to keep digital records and need to use software to submit their VAT returns.
How do the new VAT penalties, that are to be introduced on 1 Jan 2023, work in practice?
Late submission penalties will be based on a points system, meaning that those who are mistakenly late with a return/payment will not be hit as severely as serial offenders. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/penalties-for-late-submission/penalties-for-late-submission
How does an Option to Tax (OTT) affect my commercial property?
Commercial property is usually exempt from VAT. It may be tax efficient for a company to OTT a commercial property. The issue is complicated so please contact Hawsons for advice.
What is postponed VAT accounting?
This means that a business accounts for import VAT on their VAT returns, instead of paying at Customs, and is a cashflow benefit to most businesses as input VAT can be claimed on the same return.
How often will I have to submit a VAT return?
Usually every 3 months, but can be monthly/annually. Hawsons can help you choose which is best for your business.
Benefits of working with Hawsons
Take time to get to know you, your business and your VAT situation
Experienced and highly knowledgeable
Contact our experts for a free initial meeting
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