VAT is a self-assessed tax. This places the onus firmly on business to get it right.

The law is constantly evolving and it is sometimes difficult for businesses to keep up. With high VAT rates and a punitive financial penalty regime, the cost of getting things wrong can be significant.

We advise businesses across all sectors on meeting their VAT compliance obligations in an efficient manner

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) demands the right amount of tax is paid at the right time. The publicly available guidance is not always clear and we are able to assist and advise you on all areas of VAT compliance. Our comprehensive advisory service includes:

  • Review of VAT systems and accounting procedures.
  • VAT registrations and grouping.
  • Transfers of going concerns.
  • Partial exemption and Capital Goods Scheme calculations.
  • Opting to tax land and property.
  • Special VAT accounting schemes (eg cash accounting).
  • Place of supply of goods and services.
  • VAT rates and liabilities.
  • Invoicing and recordkeeping requirements.
  • Import and export compliance documents.
  • Contract reviews and VAT clauses.
  • Correct application of VAT reliefs.
  • Dealing with errors, corrections and VAT reclaims.

We can undertake and complete VAT returns, EC Sales Lists, applications for registrations, and option to tax forms on your behalf. Alternatively, we can review your accounting procedures and systems, or provide appropriate training to key members of staff.

Our team of VAT specialists include ex-HMRC officers, who are perfectly placed to assist with queries from and inspections by HMRC. If you are scheduled to receive a VAT inspection, our focused risk assessment could identify risk areas and help manage VAT exposures to help achieve a more favourable outcome.

If a VAT inspection were to lead to a dispute between your business and HMRC, we can assist with dispute resolution in an effective and timely manner. We help our clients prepare for their VAT inspections by undertaking health checks, attending meetings with HMRC and dealing with queries after the event.

Increasingly, businesses in the UK can be subject to scrutiny from tax authorities in other territories. Through our association with Nexia, we have the advantage of a wide network of contacts, to assist with international compliance.

To discuss any VAT compliance issues you may have, please contact us.

Contact Us

Sean McGinness
Partner, Edinburgh

Key experience

Sean is Head of VAT at Saffery and advises corporates, charities and landed estates on their VAT process and controls.