VAT: specialist consultancy and advice

We provide advice, consultancy and support with VAT planning, capital projects and disputes. We have a specialist in-house team with valuable expertise to help you understand complex legislation, case law and HMRC guidance.

A man operates a calculator and a laptop

We advise on specific projects and also provide VAT audits to review your position.

For start-ups and entrepreneurs: we’ll help you pick the right time to register for VAT, whether or not you’ve reached the registration threshold

For charities: we advise on the specific tax reliefs available to your products, services and capital projects

For building preservation trusts: we provide VAT advce to support feasibility studies for the reuse of historic buildings at risk

For businesses: we’ll advise on the correct VAT treatment of your income supply and update you on the case law which influences your industry

For all: the team will advise on the numerous rates of VAT available, as well as potential reliefs

There are numerous considerations and technicalities with VAT: do you have to register for it, and should you register before you’re legally required to? Will your charity project benefit from zero-rating? Are you supplying one product, or more – and if so, which VAT rates should they attract? On top of this, VAT is an EU tax; how will it evolve should the UK leave the EU?

VAT touches on nearly every aspect of business, so our team works with colleagues across Chiene + Tait to deliver the right advice. We have over 40 years of experience dealing with a wide range of issues for SMEs, charities, farms & estates, and the public sector – such as:

  • VAT registration applications;
  • Land and property transactions;
  • Negotiations with HMRC and Dispute Resolution;
  • Partial exemption and Non Business;
  • VAT Return completion and submission;
  • VAT groups;
  • Comprehensive reviews;
  • Advice on a variety of ad-hoc queries;
  • VAT recovery on capital projects.

Contact us whether you have a specific question, need general advice or are looking for an audit of what you do.

Value Added Tax is a complex area to understand and if you get it wrong the consequences can be serious. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Always keep your books and records up to date. Good record keeping is essential to keep on top of your VAT. You must keep your records up to date or it will cause a lot of problems sorting them out later.
  • Make sure you obtain valid VAT invoices from suppliers. You must have one of these in order to claim back the input VAT, so always check the documents you receive. Correspondingly you should issue a valid sales invoice for all your sales.
  • Remember to claim VAT bad debt relief. Output VAT on customer invoices which remain unpaid may be reclaimed from HMRC. Unpaid invoices need to be noted as bad in your accounting records and six months must have passed from the payment due date, before a claim on your Return is made.
  • Don’t claim VAT on entertaining clients. However, any VAT on subsistence costs incurred by staff can be recovered. You must therefore ensure that you correctly identify subsistence and entertainment and keep your receipts.
  • Claim VAT on mileage claims – where employees are reimbursed for business mileage, input VAT can be claimed. Employees must submit VAT receipts for fuel along with their expense claims.
  • VAT cannot be reclaimed on non-business expenses.
  • File all VAT Returns on time and make payments prior to the deadlines. If you are experiencing cash flow difficulties and are struggling to pay on time, contact HMRC immediately to discuss payment terms.
  • Make sure you deal with errors correctly. This will affect the penalties that you will incur from HMRC.
  • Submit your VAT returns electronically. (For VAT periods starting after 1 April 2019, subject to some exceptions, all VAT-registered businesses and organisations with a taxable turnover over £85,000 must submit their VAT returns via Making Tax Digital (MTD) approved accountancy software. For advice on MTD please contact our VAT team.)

Need any help, or have any questions? Contact us at vat@chiene.co.uk.

Expert advice on this complicated and intricate area of tax legislation can save significant sums of money. The complexity means that larger projects involving tribunals and the Courts can take a significant length of time to be resolved; we have worked on some projects over a number of years before the matter is settled.

In one recent case, we saved a small local sports club tens of thousands of pounds during a dispute with HMRC over a new clubhouse – a sum that the club would have been unable to pay and could have ended it.

We saved another client’s asset worth over £100,000 following a review by HMRC.

We provided a fast assessment to a publisher to determine whether their product qualified for zero-rating.

We have worked with a religious institution to identify the implications of a refurbishment and extensions building project: as the institution is a charity, we were able to advise on ways to reduce the tax bill and make the project more affordable.

We support numerous building preservation trusts understand how VAT can impact on a project that directly supports feasibility studies for the reuse of historic buildings at risk. Click our testimonials page here for more information.

Get in touch with your question to see how we can help you.

Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust

“I am very happy to endorse Chiene + Tait. We have received invaluable advice from them regarding VAT issues. They have been very thorough and efficient throughout and have acted on our behalf in dealing with HMRC. They identified major savings on the VAT on the capital cost which has enabled our project to move forward.”

Neil Sutherland, MD, Makar

“We were introduced to Chiene & Tait in relation to an R&D tax credit application to HMRC and to say were were delighted with the outcome is an understatement. The specialist service provided made all the difference for a very successful claim and subsequent financial payout. Since this initial experience we have not hesitated in working with Chiene & Tait in subsequent years with continued success. I would reconvened their services to any progressive organisations engaged in R&D activities.”

Martin Nadin, Chief Executive, Scottish Veterans Residences

“They are well-informed about the charity and third sector. Their performance has been seamless, runs on rails, and their size allows them to provide us with a personalised service.”

Chris Wright, Founder, deltaDNA

“We have especially liked Chiene + Tait’s approach: they have always taken a long-term view, working with us to make sure we correctly allocate R&D and show to HMRC the reason each project is valuable research. This has allowed us to successfully secure the tax credits with the minimum of fuss and the confidence each year to invest. I cannot rate Chiene + Tate highly enough. Having worked with other firms during the years on R&D Tax Credits, Chiene + Tait are by far the most professional, easiest to work with and ultimately the best at maximising the value back to the company.”

Tabatha McCree-Cox, Tarbraxus Distillers

“Chiene + Tait offered that expertise which is really important. They have a very friendly team. For example, Kerry on the VAT side has been really good, very detailed: she sets out the information very clearly along with what needs to be done. They are so much better than the previous firm we used.”

Richard Cooper, CEO, Novosound

“Novosound chose to engage with Chiene + Tait for specific tax advice prior to commencing its spin out. We chose C+T due to their deep knowledge of tax treatment with respect to share issues at company formation. This knowledge was exceedingly useful before and during the spin out process. The firm was easy to deal with and when a particular issue arose at the 11th hour, they dropped everything and developed a practical solution that suited all parties. All together C+T are a great firm to work with.”

Bruce Weir, Director, CW Properties

“Chiene + Tait have been excellent to deal with over the last ten years, with clear robust advice on all aspects of our company work. They really do think through solutions to provide best advice at all times.”

Gillian Brown

“They are efficient and I’ve found the people to be easy to work with. They are very transparent in their approach, and always very quick and professional in their responses. I do regard them as a trusted adviser.”

Karen Stark, Head of Finance, Care Visions Group

“Chiene + Tait have provided Care Visions with a professional service from the start: the set-up and parallel runs gave me so much confidence in the decision to outsource. The team at Chiene + Tait are always professional, extremely helpful and reliable.”

Enable Scotland

“As an organisation, we have had a hugely positive experience working with Chiene + Tait. The firm is easy to work with, flexible and promotes a real sense of confidence in their work and advice.”

Barry McCorkell, Director, Aubrey Capital Management

“I had no hesitation in asking for advice from the Chiene + Tait team when HMRC selected us for an Employer Compliance Review. Having longstanding trusted advisers at our side made it a lot easier and a lot less stressful! HMRC’s recommendations were quick to be addressed and adopted so the review, which could have been a challenging and unnerving experience, was instead professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending the C+T team to anyone in the future.”

Neil Wilkie, COO, Mironid

“We have been delighted to work with Chiene + Tait on our R&D tax credit claim over the past few years. The guidance and professionalism of the C+T team has resulted in a smooth submission process with a concomitant successful outcome. I’d highly recommend their services.”

Meet the team