(scotland) Limited
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We received clear and understandable VAT advice

Scottish Refugee Council are one of the leading refugee organisations in Scotland delivering a wide range of advice and support services to refugees and asylum seekers. In October 2018 we were successful in tendering for a Local Authority service contract which if vatable took us over the threshold for VAT registration. Due to the nature of the contract we did not have much time in reviewing the contract for the service before commencing the work and that left us with a tight timescale. Aware of the penalties for registering for VAT late, we decided to register for VAT with HMRC and pass the contract to Gary Moore, an experienced VAT specialist with years of work in the charity sector.

We relied on Gary to review the contract in a tight timeframe and give us written confirmation of the outcome which we could sent to HMRC if we then needed to de-register for VAT. Gary got back to us very quickly and kept me up to date while he was reviewing the contract. Gary confirmed the outcome to me in a clear and understandable way and gave me written confirmation to send to HMRC to support my notice to de-register.

The organisation is grateful for the work Gary carried out and his efficiency, and while we are a charity and funding is tight, the advice and peace of mind we received was more than worth the reasonable fee.

Kes Cameron, Head of Finance and Administration, Scottish Refugee Council

Gary is an expert on VAT and charities

Gary Moore had previously assisted in securing a refund of overpaid VAT going back many years for our local golf club and I had dealt with Gary through my involvement with the club. When we were about to commence a major refurbishment of a prominent listed building in the town centre, we contacted Gary due to the complexity of the VAT issues surrounding the project. We were intending to create a multi-use building for the local community. It was intended there would be numerous different sources of income in the finished building, with different VAT treatments. There were also significant costs in refurbishing the building, one of the main ones being the cost of VAT.

Gary was careful to establish all the facts correctly at the outset and produced a detailed report covering all the VAT aspects of the project, which were many, highlighting the importance of decisions taken at the planning stage. The report was detailed, thorough, covering all aspects of the project, but written in understandable language that all our board members could grasp. The report was also summarised into the most relevant points first and included clear recommendations on what we should do. His advice demonstrated we could recover the majority of the VAT on the building costs, and it was great to have this clarity before going ahead with our funding applications. Gary also agreed to meet with the board members in case there was anything requiring further discussion.

Gary quoted for the work in advance and stuck to the fee agreed, despite the assignment turning out to be more complex than anticipated. This was very helpful given we had a specified amount in our budget for the work.

Having had two positive experiences of Gary's work, I would not hesitate to recommend his firm to other organisations looking for VAT advice. It is clear Gary is an expert in the area, has a wealth of experience in dealing with HMRC, and has a talent for making his advice clear and understandable to his clients.

David Ross, Treasurer, Oban Communities Trust


Robust VAT accounting system now in place

'Third Sector Hebrides (TSH) is an umbrella body for the voluntary sector in Lewis and Uist. Based in Stornoway and Benbecula, we provide advice and support to individuals, charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises. In addition, TSH has several trading arms, including STARAN in Lewis and UCVO Trading in Uist. This mix makes our business very complex from a VAT perspective.

We were introduced to VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd by our auditors, Wylie & Bisset. Gary Moore undertook a VAT review of our group and identified a number of areas where we were not 100% VAT compliant. Our job specification to Gary was to summarise and quantify the historic position and prepare a Voluntary Disclosure to HMRC and, more importantly, put a system in place that helped to ensure our finance staff correctly accounted for VAT on both income and expenditure going forward.

Gary clearly explained that TSH's VAT was complex as we are grant funded in many areas but also run trading entities. Gary reviewed our group and advised that we owed a payment to HMRC. Most importantly from our perspective, Gary liaised with HMRC on our behalf and negotiated to ensure we did not incur any penalties (which could have been up to 30% of the VAT owed).

Having dealt with the retrospective position, Gary assisted our finance staff by putting in place a VAT system to ensure we would be VAT compliant going forward. This has given us peace of mind that our organisation is now fully compliant.

In summary, it is clear Gary understood the complexities of our varied group and we now have in place a robust VAT accounting system that allows us to deal with numerous income and expenditure streams in accordance with HMRC regulations. I would have no hesitation in recommending Gary to any organisation that has grant funding as well as trading income. 

Hector MacLeod, Chief Executive, Third Sector Hebrides


Delighted with thoroughness of work

I commissioned VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd to advise our organisation on the VAT implications of hosting a major international conference. I was delighted with the thoroughness of the work they carried out and with the clarity of the conclusions and recommendations they made. VAT is often a complex subject where the rules can be difficult to interpret and so I would have no hesitation in seeking their advice again should the situation arise.

Bruce Miller, Financial Controller, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Agreement reached with HMRC was considerably more beneficial than I originally anticipated

I engaged the help of Gary Moore of VAT Services Scotland to deal with the question of VAT recovery on a listed building refurbishment project.

Gary's involvement was impressive both for his quick responses and for his professional ability and his considerable knowledge and understanding in dealing with this issue. He made it easy for me and led me through it and explained the procedures and the various options available. He undertook all the correspondence and negotiations with HMRC and took charge at our final meeting with them at their offices in Cochrane Street.

The resulting agreement reached was considerably more beneficial than I had originally anticipated and I was very satisfied with the result and would recommend Gary's services unreservedly.

Leslie Mcintyre, Honorary Treasurer, Society of Friends of Glasgow Cathedral


Gary clearly understands the complexity of VAT regulations on Land and Property

VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd were recommended to us by CEIS when we were looking to investigate if we could obtain VAT savings in connection with construction of a log cabin and the associated ground works.  After an initial informative call with Gary Moore, we commissioned VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd to investigate potential VAT savings.

Gary not only identified and confirmed the VAT savings, but also prepared the paperwork we were required to give to our suppliers in order that they did not charge us VAT.  His work saved us almost £4,200, which is a material sum to an organisation such as ourselves.  The cost of Gary’s services (including VAT as we are not VAT registered) was just under £500, an overall saving of £3,700.

We would have no hesitation in recommending Gary as it is clear he understands the complexity of VAT, the interaction with VAT regulations in connection with land and property and how they affect charities such as ourselves.  

Leslie Gill, Trustee, Stable Life

Clear and crucial advice

We were originally introduced to VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd by our auditors Wylie & Bisset.  We have used their services on a number of occasions over recent years in connection with both our charity and trading entities.

When we have required guidance, Gary Moore has always clearly explained the VAT implications of the actions we were proposing to undertake.  This included confirming our charity entity did not require to register for VAT as our taxable trading income was under the current VAT registration threshold.    We now understand how to check this ourselves on a monthly basis.

As with many charities, we receive grant income and it was exceedingly beneficial the way Gary was able to explain the VAT consequences of grants as some of these are given via Service Level Agreements.   Gary used a ‘triangle’ to explain to myself and our finance staff how it was crucial to determine if the ‘donor’ of the grant was receiving any ‘benefit’ in return for the grant being given i.e. was Glasgow East Arts Company supplying a service to the donor in return for the grant or was the grant being used by us to provide a service direct to local community groups.

Gary assisted us in completing and submitting our first VAT return after we registered the trading company.  In summary, when any VAT issue crops up, Gary is our first port of call.

Jackie Shearer, Arts Manager, Glasgow East Arts Limited

We wanted certainty around our VAT position

Following a competitive tender, we engaged with VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd to provide us with VAT advice in relation to the construction of a new local community centre, together with other land and property supplies we intend to undertake.

We were aware that land and property transactions are usually very complex for VAT purposes and we wanted certainty around our VAT position before proceeding with the formal drawings for the new centre.

After providing the relevant information to VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd, they advised on the VAT implications of the construction of a new community centre. This consisted of a detailed but practical VAT report guiding us through the complexities of VAT in relation to land and property, together with a follow-up meeting.

The advice also covered the VAT implications of acquiring a shop as a going concern, construction of a new community path network, setting up a new trading subsidiary, together with the VAT liability of our various income streams and the input tax recovery position for our charity and the new trading subsidiary. 

VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd clearly understand the VAT complexities of major construction projects involving charities and, on the basis of our experience, we would recommend VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd for VAT advice around land and property transactions.

Dr R Cooling, Chairman, Strathdearn Community Developments Ltd