VAT and Customs

Negotiating the VAT and Customs duties maze

VAT is complex, with frequent changes in the law, interpretation of the law by the courts and complicated legislative requirements. Consequently, it is not surprising that even the most conscientious sometimes fall foul of the VAT inspector. We frequently find that companies are paying too much VAT and in many instances achieve tax repayments which can be substantial. Alternatively, we can identify unforeseen liabilities and correct the situation before it becomes too costly or before penalties are imposed by HM Revenue and Customs.

VAT can be especially complicated, and important, during acquisitions, mergers, corporate restructuring or if you are a charity, publicly funded or a not for profit organisation. Land and property transactions and partially exempt businesses in the insurance and financial sectors are particularly vulnerable. We have specialists in all areas of VAT, providing you with the best advice to ensure that you only need to pay the amount of VAT that the law requires of you and ensure that there are no nasty surprises in the future.

At PKF Littlejohn we offer a full range of services and we are staffed by people with extensive experience of VAT and Customs duties. We also have a specialist tax investigations team to deal with investigations arising from HMRC enquiries.

The services we can provide include:

  • Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)
    A comprehensive, cost effective international IPT compliance service ensuring all your IPT return filing and payment responsibilities are fulfilled around the world with the assistance of our fellow members of PKF International - the worldwide network of independent accounting firms. This is particularly important in the European Economic Area countries where the "Freedom of Services" rules mean insurers are regulated, and authorised, to write risks across Europe by their domestic regulator.
  • Partial exemption
    A review of your current partial exemption method, or negotiating a new method with HMRC, with a view to ensuring full compliance, improving recoveries and reducing administration.
  • Land property and construction planning
    VAT planning to improve cash flow and VAT recovery if you are buying, building or selling commercial property or are landlords owning commercial or agricultural land.
  • Health Checks and assessment reviews
    A complete VAT review of your business with planning points for the future. We can also review assessments issued by, and negotiate with, HMRC or represent you at a VAT tribunal if necessary.
  • International services and import/exporting goods
    Advice on complex liabilities of services supplied to, or received from, abroad together with Customs/Excise duty on imported goods including warehousing, temporary importation provisions and inward/outward processing relief.
  • Recovering foreign VAT
    Arranging repayments of VAT incurred in other countries or by overseas businesses in the UK under the "Mutual Recovery Schemes".
  • VAT training
    Training your employees on any VAT or import/export matters by our highly experienced VAT specialists.