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RW VAT Services: 2015 – The Story So Far

RW VAT Services: 2015 – The Story So Far

The first half of 2015 has been a very exciting time at RW VAT Services Ltd. We’ve had some excellent results already this year which have saved clients time, hassle – and most importantly money! At a conservative estimate, we have saved our clients in excess of £750,000 over this period.

You might not be aware of the range of things we can help with – so here are a few of the highlights.

Insurance intermediary services
We recently signed off a large VAT reclaim for a client in this sector. They had been operating on the understanding that all of their services were subject to VAT at 20%. However, following a detailed review and discussions with HMRC, we were able to confirm that a large proportion of their sales were in fact VAT exempt.

We then secured a substantial repayment for them of VAT overpaid over the last 4 years.
This is an extremely tricky area of the legislation – but there are valuable reliefs there which you or your clients may not be applying to their full extent.
If you provide intermediary services in the insurance or financial services sectors, this issue is well worth reviewing.

VAT Grouping
In the last few months we’ve helped a number of our corporate clients to form or restructure a VAT group.

VAT grouping has been around since the earliest days of the UK VAT regime and remains a useful planning tool.

Used effectively, it can simplify administration, reduce compliance risk and, in some cases, eliminate elements of non-recoverable VAT.

Using the VAT grouping rules to best effect requires careful thought but can be an incredibly useful tool in managing your overall tax position.

If you or your clients operate a group of companies under common control, VAT grouping is something you really should consider.

Student accommodation
The construction of student residences (and, more commonly, the conversion of existing buildings for this purpose) is something we have seen more and more of in recent months.

Some of these projects have had extremely complex VAT aspects which even senior HMRC officers have struggled to grasp.

However, in several recent cases we have been able to break through the barriers and achieve excellent results – with more in the pipeline.

Reduced rate relief
We frequently come across cases involving the reduced (5%) rate of VAT. Most commonly, these relate to the relief for ‘domestic’ or non-business fuel and power, and, the relief for residential conversions.
We talk to many clients who simply do not understand the scope of these reliefs and who, in many cases, have overpaid VAT which they are then unable to reclaim.

In one recent case, a client saved £40,000 simply by approaching their supplier and asking them to re-invoice at the correct (ie 5%) VAT rate.

Property acquisitions
This remains a key area of our advisory work. It’s a complex area and every case seems to have slightly different features which lead to a different VAT analysis.

However, it is worth taking advice in this area as the results can be spectacular. In some cases, we have achieved absolute savings and in others helped to manage cashflow issues which would otherwise have had an extremely adverse effect on the overall transaction.

VATMOSS
Finally, many of you will be aware of the so-called “VATMOSS” changes for B2C supplies of digital products which came into force on 1 January 2015.

This change has caused a great deal of pain for many micro-businesses. We sympathise and hope that practical solutions to some of the main problem areas they are encountering can be found as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, we have been helping some larger organisations to cope with the requirements of this new regime – working alongside their web developers and other advisers to ensure that they remain VAT-compliant.

Get in touch
If you would like to know more about these or any other VAT issues do get in touch at rhona.graham@rwvat.co.uk

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