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.

The ways we help charities and businesses

VAT recovery – If you make VAT exempt supplies or undertake 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. Therefore, getting the liability right 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 
  • Corporates
  • 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 came in to effect on 1 April 2019 and is part of new regulation being enforced by HMRC to get organisations to submit 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.

Want to leave an enquiry?
If you have a question about VAT, complete the form below and one of our experts will contact you.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to our team directly, please call:

+44 (0)20 7556 1200

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You might also be interested in… Making Tax Digital Update - May 2019.

About the author

Linda Skilbeck

+44 (0)20 8037 3114

Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTD) came into force on 1 April. If you have not taken any steps to check the requirements and determine what needs to be done, there is still time, because unless you are on monthly returns the earliest VAT returns affected will be due in August this year, but we would strongly recommend taking action now.

If your charity is VAT registered and makes taxable supplies above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 in any 12 month period , MTD will apply. There is a six month deferral from 1 April until 1 October for a small number of more complex businesses, and those registered in VAT groups but unless you have a deferral letter from HMRC your start date is 1 April.

For businesses submitting VAT returns on ‘calendar year’ quarters, the first VAT return affected will be due for filing in early August 2019. Therefore, for many charities affected by MTD, there is still time to investigate software options for complying with MTD.. It may be the case that you can update your existing accounting software or, alternatively, purchase ‘bridging software’. Buzzacott have bridging software available for a nominal fee which allows VAT return information to be submitted to HRMC using a spreadsheet. Talk you your usual Buzzacott contact or complete the form below. 

Simplification for charities 

HMRC have added a new section to the Making Tax Digital VAT Notice, relaxing the requirement for charities to use digital links when reporting on fundraising events. Often these events are run by volunteers and with limited internet/computer access, making it impractical to maintain digital links between the individual supplies that would need to be recorded separately in digital records. Therefore, HMRC will accept that charities can record all supplies made at fundraising events run by volunteers as if they were a single invoice in digital records, and similarly all supplies received at the event can be treated in the same way. This concession does not apply to events run by staff.

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