Managing VAT remotely

Published by Rupert Moyle on 6 April 2020

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2020 will go down as one of – if not the – most challenging years faced by businesses and people, no matter their age or sector.  We want to do all that we can to support our clients through this difficult time and beyond.  We are therefore thinking beyond our usual indirect taxes service offering; concentrating on what a business may need now in such restrictive times, where resources and cash are limited, face-to-face communication is not possible, but where compliance must continue.

We produced a checklist for businesses relating to VAT and Duty cashflow, which we hope you found useful.

In continuing our thought process we have now designed a package of assistance which we believe could help with compliance and cashflow, which is as follows:

Outsourced compliance service, with VAT specialist review

You may have decided it is necessary to take advantage of the Government’s support schemes:

  • Deferring your VAT returns payments between 20 March and 30 June; and
  • ‘Furloughing’ staff, especially those with a back-office / administrative / finance role.

Despite these measures HMRC have confirmed that VAT returns must be filed as usual.

It is important to continue to be compliant in order to ensure:

  • You calculate the right VAT due to HMRC and are not subsequently exposed – HMRC have 4 years to review your returns;
  • You are not subject to penalties for failure to submit returns, or if they are incorrect;
  • You identify any reliefs available and maximise what you can claim back on expenditure; and
  • That if payments to HMRC outside of the deferment period also prove difficult to meet, you stand the best chance of agreeing a time-to-pay arrangement with HMRC.

Our service

Kreston Reeves provides bookkeeping, fully outsourced and/or cloud based compliance services, and can bring other advisers to you should we identify an opportunity for you or need for help.  You can take advantage of these, even if this is for a short time, if your continued compliance is a challenge.

But we also appreciate that cashflow is important and there is therefore the need to maximise reliefs and to ensure no more VAT is declared than is necessary.  As such, you may also benefit from our additional VAT specialist involvement.  Our VAT team currently provides a compliance VAT return preparation service with a MTD bridging solution; ideal for complex and international businesses.  We would be happy to extend our knowledge and service to your business too in such difficult circumstances.

Therefore, if you think that you will need help, wish to declare only the VAT you are required to, or want to see if there are further amounts you can claim back from HMRC, give us a call.  We will discuss what you may need and provide you with a fee structure which is cost effective.

VAT Cash-finder service

In line with our cashflow planning list (see link above) we believe it is important that your business looks back over the past four years and reclaims any VAT it is entitled to, whether charged to you in the UK or abroad.  We can do this for you remotely.

We have a suite of over 40 ideas that we consider when undertaking a review.

We can:

  • Hold a conference call (or video link) with you to understand your business, using our expertise to identify where reliefs or savings may be available.
  • Analyse the data you provide to us remotely, even in Excel format.
  • Use our understanding gained of your business to test and look for reliefs and savings – these may include:
    • Paying VAT unnecessarily on income, where this does not need to be paid back to customers (such as sales to private persons).
    • Recovery of additional VAT on staff expenses (even where invoices are not available, using ‘alternative evidence’).
    • Where you cannot reclaim all of your VAT on expenditure, identify where VAT has been charged to you in error.
    • Duplicate supplier payments.
  • Liaise with suppliers on your behalf should it become clear that you have been charged VAT inappropriately by suppliers.

e-Advisory service

You may find that your accountant and/or existing VAT adviser is not geared up to working remotely or may, through no fault of their own, be unavailable during difficult times.  You may not therefore receive the prompt advice you require.  We do of course try to provide our clients with a lasting and trusted relationship, but we also want to help those that are in need of immediate transaction assistance.

Therefore, if you would be interested in a helpline service that allows you to email, video conference or telephone us and receive prompt attention, please do get in touch.

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