I took on a new client a week before the SA deadline. I got everything in order and filed on time (partnership return and 2 x SA's for both partners). However on completion of the accounts it appears the VAT threshold was exceeded in April 2011 and the turnover is well in excess of the registration threshold thereafter.
I've checked the previous two years, and although there was the odd month which exceeded the threshold, this was the first time it was exceeded on a regular basis.
I have dealt with these before and are normally pretty simple. I've spoken with the customers of the partnership, they are all VAT registered and do not have a problem paying the VAT that should have been charged. I've prepared the registration forms for HMRC and we appear ready to go.
The part where any other experience would help....
The previous accountant was clearly incompetant. I would never normally make an assumption based on one client but this one really has no excuses.There are many issues relwith penalties and incorrect advice we are dealing with. The accountant (on the phone, not in writing) said that as the client was a service provider they were exempt from VAT registration - this is not the case. The client eventually got so concerned he attempted his own VAT registration which HMRC rejected (clear errors on the form) then they eventually approached us.
Will HMRC accept that their advice was fundementally incorrect and they did attempt VAT registration as a reason to avoid penalties? The registration is something we are doing, without HMRC demanding it (although they will be aware through the Partnership and CIS returns).
The ones I've dealt with before have had penalties, but they had no excuse for failing to register. In this case, I can understand some interest but the client didn't have any idea, and has taken actions to try to resolve the situation.
Any help or experience will be much appreciated, thanks!