VAT reclaims present an opportunity for organisations to recover overpaid or underclaimed VAT. However, this is easier said than done. As you might expect, HMRC will find a reason to disallow a claim, based on their policy and interpretation of tax law. But, in our experience, there’s merit in challenging HMRC’s interpretation of the treatment of VAT. Over the years, we have successfully challenged HMRC’s misinterpretations, in and out of the Courts and Tribunals, to benefit not only our clients but whole sectors.
In our experience, there are many reasons why an organisation can be due VAT repayments, and we work proactively with our clients to identify VAT opportunities, which can lead to long-term savings. At VATangles, we take the time to understand our client’s accountancy practice and any opportunities arising as a result of their specific operations. Additionally, we use our expertise in tax law and in-depth knowledge of the effect of case law as it develops through the Tribunals or Courts, to benefit the organisations and sectors we work with, including charities, colleges, healthcare and agriculture.
Over the years, we’ve proactively supported the identification of VAT reclaims for our clients, suggesting savings that they had not even contemplated. When we work on VAT saving exercises, in almost all cases our fees are charged as a percentage of the savings that we identify. In other words, ‘no savings, no fees’.
We operate in this way as we are confident that we will find our clients savings, and therefore this way of working provides a transparent and fair service for both parties. And, as such, there is no risk to your organisation in engaging our services.
Although VATangles works proactively, it is always music to our ears when a finance director contacts us and asks ‘could you have a look at our VAT. I think we might be paying too much or reclaiming too little?’. In our experience, we will almost always find savings.
We are unapologetically legally based.
The vast majority of work we carry out is proactive: we read, discuss and understand complex VAT case law from the UK, the EU and, occasionally, even further afield. We have close links with some of the top VAT barristers and QCs in London with whom we can informally discuss our thoughts before taking them further.
Our strength is rooted in our staying power, fighting for what we believe is right for our clients and challenging VAT positions based on our understanding of case law and success in winning cases in the Courts and Tribunals. VATangles will enter into detailed and ongoing correspondence, setting out the full reasons for the claims, and the legal justification for them. We will set out precisely why HMRC’s position on the claim is wrong, and if necessary, we will take the matter through the appeals process.
It may take some time, but in the vast majority of cases, the claims are ultimately repaid by HMRC.
MEET THE EXPERTS
Technical VAT Director
James joined VATangles in 2013 after working for a leading car rental business. He specialises in technical VAT services and has considerable knowledge of UK/EU law. James is an expert in identifying new VAT savings.
Noel is a highly experienced consultant who started his career working for HMRC. He's handled VAT claims for over 40 years, and is a specialist in both UK and EU VAT law. Noel has delivered significant reclaims for a variety of clients.
Andy has worked in the tax industry for over 25 years, mainly specialising in the not-for-profit sector.
Andy is experienced in the management on VAT claims and has delivered large reclaims for a host of different clients.
VAT RECLAIMS CASE STUDY
A Student Union asked us for a complete VAT review of their transactions. We identified several VAT issues, one of which was the charging of VAT on some of the catering that they provided to their students. Based on our experience in parallel organisations, and our knowledge of the law, we concluded that VAT should not be accounted for.
We worked with the union’s finance team to gather the information to prepare and submit the VAT claim to HMRC, which covered four years of accounting, as is allowed for in the law.
HMRC refused the claim, and subsequent correspondence fell on deaf ears. We, therefore, prepared to take the issue to the Tax Tribunal. However, after HMRC had referred the matter to the barrister, it was agreed that we were correct and that HMRC and their policy was wrong. The six-figure VAT reclaim was repaid to our client without the necessity of a Tribunal hearing.
The client was extremely pleased with the outcome and enabled them to invest in further welfare supplies for their students.
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