(scotland) Limited
  • 0141 636 9353
  • 0141 636 9490
  • 0141 636 9492

Forward planning can save time and money, two of the most crucial commodities for any business. When it comes to VAT planning it is critical to obtain the correct advice at the outset to minimise exposure to VAT, while complying with VAT laws.

HMRC accept that businesses can structure their affairs to minimise their VAT liability on the criteria that the transactions are bona fide commercial transactions that are not structured with the sole objective of increasing Input Tax (VAT) recovery, or minimising Output Tax (VAT) charged.

VAT is a transaction-based tax and its implications should be considered before a business either undertakes a new type of sale or purchase (i.e. an export/import or any one-off major transaction). This would include the sale of land or property and the possible complexities of any 'Option To Tax' and Capital Goods Scheme implications. It is therefore beneficial to seek specialist VAT advice as early as possible in the proceedings to ensure the best outcome for your business.

At VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd we have a wealth of experience and in-depth understanding of the VAT legislation as well as HMRC's policies and internal procedures. This ensures we can provide expert help on a wide range of your business transactions.

Early Intervention proves essential for our client

Our early intervention provides valuable VAT advice to our clients on a regular basis. Recently we advised an individual who was purchasing a commercial property in order to convert it into his own home. The business selling the property had previously 'Opted To Tax' and therefore advised our client that he (the seller) would be charging VAT on the sale price of £400,000 and that our client could recover it from HMRC via a process known as a 'DIY Refund Claim'.

The seller was incorrect and our intervention resulted in VAT not being charged on the sale to our client. This was crucial to our client as HMRC would not have repaid our client the VAT he had incurred (via a DIY Refund Claim) as the VAT had not been correctly charged in the first place. Our client would have required to obtain a credit note for the VAT that had been charged in error.

This same client had instructed a contractor to undertake £300,000 of refurbishment costs in converting the property from commercial to residential use. The first interim invoice from the contractor had VAT charged at the standard rate of 20% when it should have been at the reduced rate of 5% as it was a conversion from commercial use to residential use. Had we not intervened, HMRC would have repaid our client only £15,000 (5%), and not the £60,000 (20%) that the seller proposed to charge him. The only way our client could have rectified this without our intervention would have been to go back to the contractor and ask for a credit note for the VAT charged incorrectly.

Our advice resulted in the client having a cash flow benefit of £45,000 and, possibly more importantly, negated the possibility of losing £45,000 had the contractor become insolvent in the interim.

Contact us

Should you wish further information on the above, please do not hesitate to contact Gary using the details outlined below.


Gary Moore
Direct line 0141 636 9353
Mobile 07812 061 582
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