Member Since: 9th Jun 1999
Hi, I am a VAT Consultant, part of the team at vatadvice.org We are based in Cambridgeshire. We work largely with charities but also advise a range of commercial organisations.
I have over 30 years experience in VAT, and am currently also a part-time member of the Tax Tribunals.
VAT Consultant vatadvice.org
28th Aug 2015
Who are HMRC targeting?
This link is interesting (http://www.ftadviser.com/2015/08/17/ifa-industry/tax-planning/taxpayers-...) as it indicates HMRC's change of target from HNW individuals, who can afford to defend themselves. Perhaps, by targeting taxpayers with fewer resources, HMRC will think they have been more successful.
19th Aug 2015
Another FTT decision
There has also been a case where the proportionality argument was raised, and the penalty was over £80,000. One difference was that the taxpayer had a history of defaults, and the penalty was at 15%.
This is the link:http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/TC/2015/TC04329.html
19th Aug 2015
New Default Surcharge
New legislation is in FA 2009, Sch 55 & 56, to replace the Default Surcharge. The Office for Tax Simplification has urged HMRC to introduce it. If they do, it will provide a better targeted regime, and will also avoid these higher quantum surcharges.
26th Jun 2015
Quality of Information
Dealing exclusively with VAT, I have a constant issue with poor quality information from HMRC. Letters fail to clearly or accurately address issues; staff are largely ignorant of the legal and/or case law issues, etc.
If there was more investment in technical training to front line staff, that would be very welcome.
25th Jun 2015
Do the maths.
One target is to answer 80% of calls. With 60million per annum, that leaves 12 million unanswered - and that is the target!
We welcome the extra money, but there is much to do before the service is genuinely satisfactory.
28th Jan 2015
Response - is a hobby a business?
There has been a lot of litigation over the definition of 'business' activity or, in euro-speak, 'economic activity.' A case could be made for a 'hobby' to be distinct from a 'business,' This could mean that the hobbyist would have no liability to register for VAT or MOSS, irrespective of turnover. This would assist those people for whom MOSS is too great a burden.
I wonder who will take up this challenge!
25th Jan 2015
Response - training
One of the repeated comments before Christmas was the lack of information available to small and micro businesses. HMRC's December announcements, with their change of mind, was evidence of the outcry against this lack of information.
However, there has been information available from a number of sources. I have delivered training and support to a number of Accountants and Bookkeepers, and to small businesses. But I do accept Paul's comment that this can be prohibitively expensive for small and micro businesses.
I do commend Link4Growth for helping in this respect, in making available support to its growing membership, and beyond.
It would doubtless help a lot of small and micro businesses if more training and support were delivered in a practical way. Any offers?
25th Jan 2015
Response - registration threshold
I do take the view that a VAT registration threshold should be low, perhaps £10,000. I would wish to keep those carrying out a hobby are kept out of VAT, but the problem is how to make a clear distinction between a hobby and a small or micro business. Those of us used to these issues are familiar with the Lord Fisher tests, which provides guidance on what constitutes a business.
24th Jan 2015
Having been invited to respond on several points, here is one:
'How can I confirm a buyer's location if he disguises his location?'
The legislation asks for two pieces of non-contradictory evidence. In the circumstance where the seller obtains such evidence, and has no obvious suspicion that such evidence is misleading then he has satisfied the legislation. He cannot be penalised for being tricked!
So, don't lose sleep over that one.
22nd Jan 2015
It might be easier for users of VAT-MOSS to have a VAT-inclusive price, applicable in all EU Member States. Do the maths first, so that the overall margins are not too tight. But it saves the problem of trying to add VAT at different rates to supplies in different Member States.