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VAT living on another planet!!

Apart from been accountants we also operate a small business centre only for retained clients

We act as registered office and trading address for clients and they also make use of our telephone and facsimile numbers. We provide a full range of services ranging from simply acting as registered office to full administration and invoicing

We seem to be having problems with VAT registrations recently where they are not happy listing our address as the registered office and trading address. We've told them that putting another address is not appropriate as the address given is the correct one. They've told us it is not allowed for a business to use their accountants address. When we've asked them under what authority their opinion is based upon they don't answer

Is it me or is the VAT office living on anther planet

Can anyone help us with their opinion on this

Any reply most appreciated


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15th Oct 2010 23:06

Put them on the spot

 "They've told us it is not allowed for a business to use their accountants address. When we've asked them under what authority their opinion is based upon they don't answer"


I'm not aware of any legal authority for this stance.

I would formally write to them stating that THEY have refused to register these businesses for VAT and that THEY have repeatedly failed/refused to cite the relevent legal authority for their refusal.  Then conclude by clearly stating that if they refuse to register the businesses and refuse to state a lawful reason for doing so then any loss incurred to the Revenue is their responsibility not the businesses and their unlawful refusal to register the business for VAT is a complete defence to any claim they may make.  

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By SteveOH
15th Oct 2010 23:28

The trading address is required

Question 5 on form Vat 1 asks for Business Contact Details. These include: Business address, that is, the principal place where most of the day to day running of the business is carried out.

This will be a question of fact and it will most likely be a place different from their accountant's office. From the sound of it you seem to be providing a virtual office to a greater or lesser degree. I wouldn't see this as a trading address. If however you were providing office space to your clients then I think the situation would be quite different.

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16th Oct 2010 07:45


If invoices are issued from that office and correspondence sent to that office - then that is the trading address.  

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16th Oct 2010 11:32

Trading Address

I think I can see where they're coming from on this occasion. I'd be surprised if the true "trading" address was really your office although only you know the answer. If they genuinely do not hold stock at any other address nor see customers at any other address nor claim an allowance for "use of home" then I could see the argument.

It's only reasonable for both your sake and HMRC's sake that the realities are known. If a Court judgment needs to be enforced for example it is equitable that a defendant can't hide behind an artificial address. I know a lot of accountants use their offices for all sorts of services but I personally prefer the taxpayer/client to take some responsibility in life even if that means the odd document being binned or never being extracted from the envelope.


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