VAT – for a supposedly ‘simple tax’, VAT can make even the most savvy of business people break out in a cold sweat. But with the right advice it doesn’t need to be a nightmare. From VAT registration, reviews and dealing with HMRC, our experienced team can help you.

No matter what your issue, from VAT liability, to the most complex partial exemption calculations, we can save you time and costs.

VAT for UK and global businesses

If you’re a UK company, our VAT specialists can advise you about liability on both everyday transactions and complex purchases. If you trade within the EU and beyond, our market-leading service Fiscal Solutions knows international VAT compliance inside-out.

When you’re working with us, you simply focus on doing your stuff. 

The ways we help charities and businesses

VAT recovery – If you make VAT exempt supplies or undertakes non-business activities your organisation may not be able to reclaim all of the VAT that it incurs on its costs, but don’t worry, we can help you optimise your recovery.

VAT training - We run sector-focused VAT training courses and can offer bespoke training for your business or staff needs so that your team are best equipped to deal with VAT issues within your organisation.

VAT liability queries - The VAT liability of your income determines both the VAT that has to be charged on to your customers, and the extent to which you can reclaim VAT on costs. Getting the liability right therefore has a direct effect on business efficiency. Getting it wrong can lead to costly VAT penalties, we can help you navigate this challenge and provide guidance for the best course of action. 

Firms we work with

  • Accountants
  • Architects 
  • Corporate firms
  • Importers and exporters
  • Commercial property organisations 
  • Law firms and other professional practises

VAT for not-for-profit organisations

If you are a UK charity, we know you need to spend your time and effort working hard to direct funds where they’re most needed. And that’s where our not-for-profit VAT team comes in, with expert advice on property, grants, contracts and VAT recovery. We help charities review their VAT position on a regular basis, working together to ensure processes are up to date with changes in law, HMRC policy and the organisation's activities.

VAT reliefs - One of the best ways of mitigating VAT is to ensure you make full use of the reliefs you may be entitled to. We can tell you about any of the zero-rate reliefs that might apply to the goods or services that you are purchasing so you are in the best position to limit your VAT exposure. 

Capital projects - Capital projects are exhilarating, exhausting, exciting, demanding and often all consuming! Understanding the VAT implications at an early stage can maximise VAT benefits, especially where not all the VAT will be recoverable. Our VAT team can help with planning, from advising on reliefs and managing the VAT Capital Goods Scheme requirements. The key is to take advice from the outset.

Sectors we work in

  • Charity and not for profits
  • Education including academies and further education establishments
  • Arts, museums and culture
  • Membership organisations
  • Housing associations 
  • Welfare and healthcare 

Making Tax Digital (MTD)

Making Tax digital is coming in to effect from April 2019 as part of new regulation being enforced by HMRC to get organisations to record their VAT returns digitally. 

For most organisations their current accounting software will be MTD compatible, but if you’re unsure or it isn’t, don’t worry! Our tech experts have designed a bridging solution for you that will help make your VAT returns MTD compatible.

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You might also be interested in… Making Tax Digital Updated VAT Notice published.

About the author

Linda Skilbeck

+44 (0)20 8037 3114

The notice confirms that ‘the soft landing period’ (the period of time allowed for organisations to have digital links in place between all parts of their functional compatible software) is to be extended to 12 months after the mandated start date. The extension should be a welcome relief to many organisations who are fearful that they won't be able to comply within the time frame or feel rushed into picking a software provider and want more time for testing. 

In practice, this means that businesses or charities who have a deferred start date of 1 October 2019, such as VAT groups, will not have to implement full digital links at the back-end of their VAT processes until October 2020. This is six months later than the original April 2020 implementation date, giving more time to test processes and review the software available from third party providers.

Those with a mandated start of April 2019 will still need to have digital links implemented by April 2020. In short, this means that organisations cannot ‘cut and paste’ information from one software programme to another, or note down invoice details by hand and use this to manually update different parts of the system. However HMRC say that linked cells in spreadsheets, for example, if you have a formula in one sheet that mirrors the source’s value in another cell, is a digital link. And the transferring of such spreadsheets via email, memory stick or flash drive in such a way which enables an agent to ‘import’ the data into their own software will also constitute a digital link.

Buzzacott’s very own HMRC approved MTD compliant bridging solution is now listed on HMRC’s website. This cloud-based solution will be easy to use, competitively priced and will enable organisations to meet the demands of MTD in order to submit their UK VAT returns after the April 2019 deadline. In addition, the system allows organisations to keep track of returns previously submitted and perform certain validation checks on VAT returns prior to submission.

View the full version of the updated VAT Notice 700/22: Making Tax Digital for VAT here.