4 May 2023

Focus on: our VAT consultancy services

Businesses’ budgets are increasingly tight, and in times like these, every penny counts. This makes ensuring that taxes such as VAT are being paid correctly all the more crucial. Adam Lloyd, Senior VAT Manager, speaks about the issues and opportunities facing businesses today and why the importance of VAT should never be overlooked.

What kind of businesses make up your client base?
We have a whole range of clients – from self-employed individuals all the way up to £100 million corporations. Because of this broad spectrum of clientele, the VAT services that we provide vary greatly from client to client and are tailored to their specific needs. The priorities of every business will be wildly different – what might be viewed as a trivial sum to a large corporation will be a significant amount to a sole-trader.

What does your work entail?
Much of our current work relates to VAT compliance and ensuring that our clients are getting things right. Indirect tax has become increasingly 'self regulating' in recent years with the onus shifting from HMRC checking that businesses are filing correctly, to encouraging customers to be ‘self-compliant’. This makes it essential that businesses are completing processes correctly, so they don’t get caught unawares. We’re also busy ensuring that clients are not paying tax unnecessarily, or erroneously.

One big focus is on helping clients who can’t recover the VAT that they incur. This could include anyone from a small charity, education or healthcare provider, to a large investment bank, and everything in between.

We can add great value by helping to better manage business affairs and reducing the amount of irrecoverable VAT, which would constitute a cost to the company. Like any other cost, there is a will, and indeed a right, to ensure that cost is not more than it should be.

What areas in particular are your clients needing support in?
We provide a lot of advice around property and corporate finance transactions. Both of these areas typically involve large amounts of money and can include a number of potential pitfalls when it comes to VAT.

We’re also experiencing a hangover from Brexit with some British companies still falling foul of registration in Europe, which requires many business which trade in Europe to be registered there. There is still much uncertainty around the process and a number of businesses have been absorbing foreign VAT and not claiming it because they no longer have a presence in the EU.

What do you think is the skill that you draw on the most in your role?
I've been in the VAT field for many years and have worked with everyone from sole traders to global financial institutions. But I find my experience operating in industry particularly beneficial. It allows me to speak to clients in their ‘own language’. VAT terminology can be complex, so it’s crucial to be able to explain processes in a jargon-free manner. The aim of our work is to give businesses a better understanding of their finances and clearly communicate with them using language that is easily understood and, more importantly, can be acted upon.

So, why should clients pick Monahans?
At Monahans, we always have the client’s best interests at heart and will work to find the best possible outcome. For some that might just mean completing a ‘health check’ whilst they have their audits completed, fixing any issues or simply providing reassurance that they have got it right.

VAT has to be complied with, but that doesn't mean that businesses should be paying more than their fair share. Everyone has a right to manage their affairs in such a way that keeps their taxes under control, and we’re here to help businesses to do that.

If you need support navigating VAT, get in touch today – Adam will be more than happy to help with any query you may have.

Adam Lloyd