Martin Telfer
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VAT and change of address

VAT and change of address

This is an extract from a letter received by a client when they notified a change of address for VAT:

"I am writing to advise you that as a result of the wide range of necessary security checks we require additional information before processing your request for a change of address.  Would you please forward a copy of either the complete lease agreement or rental agreement confirming your current trading address immediately in the enclosed reply envelope."

Is this normal?  In any event the lease agreement would not provide evidence of a trading address, merely that the company has some interest in the property. 

Normally I take the view that it is best to give them whatever they ask for, but I am contemplating a reply to the effect that the company has complied with its obligations by notifying them of the change of address and they can either choose to record it or not.  What do people think?

And I have to say I'm intrigued about how they think a complete lease will fit into a reply envelope.


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By DMGbus
21st Apr 2011 14:18


Never heard of this garbage before (except with some intending trader new VAT registrations with reasoning like "you must prove that you're going to be trading").

I think HMRC nowadays employs some people who are DETERMINED TO MAKE LIFE DIFFICULT FOR BUSINESSES (now, if we were a communist state discouraging or banning free enterprise I could understand this, but we're not are we?  Is it just that some communist-leaning individuals have been allowed free reign within HMRC unchecked?).



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05th May 2011 15:13

Follow up

Just had a phone call from the VAT office.  My client had decided to send them the lease document, but apparently had omitted the details of the rent payable.  The lady at the VAT office insisted that this information was needed ('rules of the department' apparently).  When I asked her to give me the legal basis for this the line fell silent for quite a while, after which she returned to tell me that her supervisor was happy to accept the notification in this instance.  So it looks like it's just something they do, that they have no power to do and which isn't required.  Still, nice to know they have so much manpower they can invent work to do.

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