VAT advice and planning
Most types of business or professional activity are obliged to register for VAT when their turnover exceeds certain limits. It is essential that these limits are not overlooked but some clients are reluctant to become involved in the detailed record keeping required. We are able to maintain VAT records for our clients and prepare the VAT returns in good time to ensure compliance with all statutory requirements.
The VAT legislation makes no allowance for absences from the UK and stiff penalties are imposed for failure to register for VAT or to submit returns on time. By maintaining the necessary records in our office, we can usually arrange for inspection visits by HMRC to take place at our premises rather than at the client’s premises. Being registered for VAT is an administrative burden but it has some advantages because VAT paid on expenses can be recovered from HMRC each quarter.
We assist many of our clients in the preparation and submission of their VAT returns. All VAT registered businesses have to submit VAT returns online and pay any VAT due electronically. We can assist you in registering for this and can submit the returns on your behalf.
International and EC trade
For clients who trade in the EC, we also assist with the preparation of EC sales lists and Intrastat filings. We can ensure that you have the correct disclosures on your sales invoices and can provide advice on invoicing in foreign currency.
If you deal with imports/exports, it is important that certain evidence is obtained. HMRC are very specific about the forms of evidence which are required to support export sales.
Traditionally, VAT is accounted for on an invoice basis. Depending on your business model and cash flow you may find it more beneficial to use cash accounting.
Alternatively, have you considered the flat rate scheme? Many small business with minimal VATable expenses benefit greatly from this scheme.
Even for clients who prepare their VAT return themselves, we are always available to answer your queries. We also offer the assistance of our resident VAT expert, Tom Smith.
VAT can be a minefield for any business and it is a complex area where the legislation regularly changes. If you miscalculate and underpay VAT, the resultant catch-up payments will be a direct cost to your business. There may also be fines and interest.
For more information, please contact: