1st Friday
Tax Chat

VAT Man says “No”

VAT Man says “No”

A significant proportion of our work comes from cases where the VAT man has said “no”. These issues usually arise as a result of routine VAT inspections or in response to requests for clearance from HMRC on particular points of law or practice.

Many of our clients find these situations difficult to deal with and may sometimes assume (erroneously) that the position is hopeless. This may be very far from the case. We can help by assessing the options available and working to resolve the dispute or disagreement.

In some cases, all that is required is clear communication of the technical position to HMRC. We are used to working with them and using their terminology so can usually provide valuable assistance and advice in this area.

Unfortunately, however, there are cases where mere explanation isn’t enough to resolve the position and further action is required. Typically this will take the form of a formal Appeal to the tax tribunals or, in suitable cases, mediation under HMRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programme.

We are currently working with a number of clients who have cases which are in ADR or about to go to tribunal. So far, our track record on Tribunals is such that we’ve won over 70% of cases which have gone to a full hearing. On ADR, our success rate is even higher.

Key message: Don’t assume that a “no” from the VAT man means that all is lost.

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