Introduction

Welcome to Türner & Co’s dedicated VAT compliance services. Navigating the complexities of UK VAT can be challenging, but our expert team is committed to ensuring seamless compliance for your business.

Specialising in assisting overseas and multinational clients entering the UK market, we offer comprehensive support to ensure accurate VAT return submissions and full adherence to Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements.

Understanding your UK VAT compliance obligations

The UK VAT system operates on the basis of self-assessment, where businesses are responsible for determining their VAT registration requirements and ensuring the accuracy of VAT submissions to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Late registrations, late submissions and late payments may result in penalties.

VAT-registered businesses must submit VAT returns to HMRC every three months. In certain cases, VAT returns can be submitted monthly or annually. We will work with you to determine the best VAT reporting timetable for your business.
Each UK VAT return is a final report. We do not have a system of “Voranmeldungen” with monthly payments on account and an annual return at the end of the year.

The VAT return will report the sales and purchases made in the VAT return period and the amount of VAT which is payable to HMRC. Where a VAT return shows a repayment is due, HMRC may review the return before authorising the refund. VAT refunds can be made to overseas bank accounts. If HMRC has any queries about your VAT returns, we can manage these for you.

All VAT-registered businesses must comply with MTD. This means you must keep digital records and submit VAT returns digitally to HMRC. We can work with you and your accounting system to manage this for you.

Our VAT compliance services

  • VAT return preparation and submission: expert management of VAT returns, with client approval before submission to HMRC so you know exactly how we have calculated the VAT due to or due from HMRC.
  • Full compliance with Making Tax Digital (MTD): ensuring your business meets MTD requirements, from digital recordkeeping to electronic VAT return submission.
  • VAT invoice review: thorough review of sales and purchase invoices to ensure proper documentation and validation of VAT recovery claims. Where you have purchase invoices that do not meet UK VAT law requirements, we can work with you and your suppliers to obtain compliant invoices. This is important because input VAT can only be recovered where a business holds a valid VAT invoice.
  • UK Import VAT recovery: direct access and download of UK import VAT certificates from the UK’s Customs Declaration Service, included in your UK VAT return.
  • Proactive HMRC query management: anticipating and preparing you for HMRC queries, particularly for initial VAT returns or VAT returns involving large VAT repayments. Our proactive approach aims to facilitate a faster and smoother review process.
  • Expert handling of HMRC enquiries and audits: expert management of all HMRC communication and queries, ensuring clear resolution. We will let you know immediately if HMRC contacts us about your UK VAT returns and agree how you would like us to manage the process for you.

Why choose Türner & Co for VAT compliance?

Partnering with Türner & Co for your UK VAT compliance ensures that your business benefits from our deep understanding of UK VAT regulations. We focus exclusively on UK VAT which means we are experts in our field.

We have taken the strategic decision to remain UK-specific experts. We do not offer pan-European or global VAT compliance solutions for our clients. We are happy to refer you to advisors in other countries but we have a strategic focus solely on UK VAT. We provide specialised services tailored to UK-specific tax requirements, particularly vital post-Brexit as customs borders increase trade complexity. Our proactive approach minimises risks, keeping your business compliant and ahead of regulatory changes.

Many of our clients engage us after working with other tax advisors offering UK VAT compliance as part of wider pan-European one-stop-shop tax compliance solutions. Unfortunately, in some cases, this has resulted in the client’s UK VAT returns being submitted late or being incorrect, resulting in HMRC penalties and assessments.

We appreciate that changing tax advisors can be a challenging process and we have extensive experience in managing effective handovers in these cases. Where your UK VAT returns need bringing up-to-date, we will work with you and HMRC to manage your position as effectively as possible. We strive to minimise risks and disruptions, keeping your business compliant and ahead of regulatory changes.

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For expert guidance and comprehensive UK VAT compliance services, Contact Türner & Co.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does Türner & Co ensure VAT return accuracy?

Our process includes a rigorous review of all supporting documentation like sales and purchase invoices and we stay abreast of the latest VAT regulations to ensure the highest accuracy in submissions. We ask our clients to approve all VAT returns to ensure they understand and are happy with the figures being reported to HMRC.

How does Türner & Co handle HMRC queries on VAT returns?

Our team expertly manages all HMRC communication and queries, ensuring efficient and clear resolution, backed by years of experience. Where our clients have moved to us from other advisors, we appreciate that this is particularly important, particularly where we are working to bring the UK VAT compliance position up-to-date.

What is Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT?

MTD requires VAT-registered businesses to keep digital records and use software to submit their VAT returns to HMRC. The aim is to make it easier for businesses to manage their VAT and to reduce errors. MTD for VAT applies to all VAT-registered businesses, partnerships and sole traders even those based overseas. We provide comprehensive guidance and support to ensure your full compliance with MTD.

How often do I need to submit VAT returns in the UK?

VAT returns are typically submitted on a quarterly basis. This means you will need to submit 4 VAT returns each year, each covering a 3-month period. When we register you for UK VAT we will ask if you need a particular VAT reporting timetable, e.g. to coincide with your financial year.
In some cases, you may decide to submit monthly VAT returns, e.g. if you will be receiving repayments from HMRC on a regular basis. It is also possible to submit VAT returns on an annual basis. We can advise you about your options and the best course of action for your business.

Can I do an annual VAT return?

Yes, under certain conditions you can opt for the Annual Accounting Scheme, which allows you to submit 1 VAT return per year. However, this is subject to eligibility and may not be suitable for all businesses.

Should I use the Flat Rate Scheme for VAT in the UK?

The Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) is a simplification but may not be suitable for all businesses. If you are interested in using FRS, we can provide a benefit analysis to check suitability.

Does cash accounting for VAT work in the UK?

Yes, the cash accounting scheme is available in the UK. This allows businesses to account for VAT on the basis of payments received and paid, rather than on invoices issued and received, which can aid cash flow for some businesses. To use cash accounting, your VAT taxable turnover must be GBP 1.35million or less per year. We can advise if cash accounting is a suitable option for you.
What is the accruals basis of VAT accounting in the UK?
The accruals basis of VAT accounting means VAT is calculated based on the date an invoice is issued or received, rather than when payments are made or received. This is the standard method for VAT accounting in the UK. Large businesses must use the accruals basis for VAT accounting.

When do I create a tax point for VAT purposes in the UK?

A tax point is the date when a transaction takes place for VAT purposes. It determines when a transaction should be reported on a VAT return.
There are different tax point rules for supplies of goods and services. Generally, a tax point is triggered when goods are supplied, services are completed, or payment is received, whichever occurs first. We can provide specific advice on tax points and when UK VAT should be accounted for.

What happens if I submit a VAT return late?

Submitting a VAT return late can result in penalties from HMRC. The severity of the penalty depends on how many late submissions have been made and the delay in submission. A penalty can be cancelled if you have a reasonable excuse for late submission – this can be very difficult to argue successfully.

What happens if I pay my VAT late?

Late payment of VAT can result in interest charges and penalties from HMRC. The amount of the penalty depends on how late the payment is and how much VAT is owed. If you will find it difficult to pay VAT on time, you should contact HMRC to agree a payment plan. We can support you with this.

What happens if I make a mistake in a VAT return?

If you make a mistake in a VAT return, you can often correct it in your next VAT return. For larger errors – GBP 10,000 or more – you will need to submit an Error Correction Notice to HMRC. Türner & Co can recommend when an Error Correction Notice should be submitted and can assist in the calculation and submission of the Notice.

Do I need a UK bank account to pay VAT to HMRC?

No, a UK bank account is not required to pay VAT to HMRC. Payments can be made through various methods, including international bank transfers. However, having a UK account can simplify the payment process.

Do I need a UK bank account to receive a refund from HMRC?

No, HMRC can make refunds directly to overseas bank accounts, though additional information may be required.

Can I recover UK VAT incurred on my costs?

Yes, if you hold a valid VAT invoice issued by your supplier and the cost relates to you making taxable supplies in the UK. Where a cost relates to VAT-exempt transactions, the VAT cannot be recovered and where it relates to both VAT-exempt and taxable transactions, an apportionment must be made to determine how much VAT can be recovered – this is called ‘partial exemption’. We can advise you on VAT recovery and partial exemption.

Do UK Standard, Reduced and Zero VAT rates apply to the same type of supplies as my home country?

No, supplies may be subject to a different rate of VAT than may apply in your home country. We can review the supplies made by your business and provide advice about applicable VAT rates.
All of my UK supplies are subject to the zero-rate of VAT, do I need to register for VAT?
It may be possible to apply for exemption from UK VAT registration if you don’t need to charge VAT on your UK supplies. We can advise you if exemption is possible, and manage the application process on your behalf.


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