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Accountants & Business Advisers

VAT and Customs Duty Services

VAT is a notoriously complicated tax; more frequent inspections and a harsher penalty regime introduced recently mean the risks it brings have never been higher. We understand that as VAT is a transaction based tax and consequently our clients usually demand a quick answer.

James Cowper Kreston is part of the Kreston Global network which puts us in an ideal position to advise your business on the VAT implications of cross border transactions.

VAT Advice

 We can:

  • Consider any VAT issues that might arise from your prospective business plans to make sure that VAT does not compromise these arrangements
  • Provide advice on specific high-value transactions including the acquisition or sale of a business or a property
  • Explain the conditions for a sale or purchase of a business to be treated as a VAT Transfer of a Going Concern
  • Provide a comprehensive VAT review to enable your business to take a pro-active approach to its VAT affairs
  • Advise how to legitimately maximise VAT recovery on costs without the use of high risk, artificial schemes
Particular issues/strategic decisions
  • VAT grouping or stand-alone registrations
  • Voluntary VAT registration where taxable turnover is below the threshold
  • Flat rate scheme or standard VAT accounting
  • Separate trading subsidiary for charities/not-for-profit business
  • Advantages and disadvantages of opting to tax land or property.
Practical assistance

Prepare and submit to HMRC

  • VAT registration or deregistration application
  • VAT return
  • Amendment to existing group registration
  • MOSS registration and return
  • Error correction
  • Complaint about HMRC conduct
  • Non-statutory clearance request
  • Partial exemption special method application
  • Partial exemption standard method calculation or review
  • Business/non-business apportionment
  • Option to tax
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) application
Audits and investigations by HMRC
  • Where a difficult VAT matter arises we can negotiate with HMRC on your behalf.
  • Our team is available to help you on the day of a VAT inspection to assist with any questions raised by HMRC.
  • We can perform a risk assessment of the VAT position prior to an HMRC visit and advise on how to deal with any problems this highlights.

If HMRC issues an assessment, liabilities can often be avoided or mitigated by involving a VAT specialist at an early stage

Customs Duty and International Trade services

We are able to use our experience to advise on:

  • Import and export procedures
  • Duty deferment and Postponed Import VAT Accounting
  • EORI applications
  • Temporary import reliefs
  • The impact of Brexit upon your sales of goods or services to customers inside the EU
  • HMRC import valuation inspections.
  • Tariff classification of goods, by reference to our third party/external specialists
  • Provide advice on the tax and customs procedures in other countries via the Kreston global network of local firms
VAT Advice on Land and Property

The VAT treatment of land and property transactions is complex. The VAT team at James Cowper Kreston has huge technical and practical knowledge gathered from prior HMRC employment and commercial experience, which can provide certainty to you. Errors in VAT treatment, whether on your sale or by your suppliers can cause significant disruption and risk to the business.

We provide clear explanations and advice on the following activities and transactions.

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Making Tax Digital for VAT

From April 2022 onwards, it is compulsory for all VAT registered businesses to submit returns to HMRC via MTD compliant accounting software, and to maintain digital records to support the returns submitted. MTD was originally introduced by HMRC in 2019 but was only compulsory for those businesses with annual taxable turnover above £ 85,000; this initial concession for smaller businesses is now withdrawn.

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Tax Investigation Service

Regardless of how careful you are with your tax affairs, HM Revenue & Customs can randomly select, or target, you for a tax enquiry.

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