News for the International Trade industry
Governments across the world are embracing a shift from direct to indirect taxation with an increase in the number of countries operating VAT and a general rise in the standard rates of VAT. Similarly, the terms of international trade and the impact of customs tariffs is currently high profile and increasingly complex. We are also seeing a rise in the number of disputes with HMRC having to be resolved via litigation. Getting it right can save you money, getting it wrong can be very costly. With the ever-widening scope of VAT and Customs and Excise duties, developing regulations and case law governing it and the onerous demands of HMRC, indirect tax is notoriously complicated.
Whether you are a multinational company, a non profit organisation or a sole-trader, our VAT specialists are able to provide comprehensive practical advice. We are proud that much of our new work comes from client referrals, and we know that we have succeeded when a client says to us 'that’s the first time we’ve understood VAT'.
Our group of specialists are equipped to help you resolve disputes with HMRC. If you have received a challenge or unfavourable decision from HMRC on VAT, Customs or Excise Duty, we can help you with our practical and commercial approach to settling disputes.
Many of our team are ex-HMRC employees, or have a legal background and can support you through the various stages in responding to an HMRC dispute, up to and including the last resort of appealing to the tax tribunal. Many of our client’s cases are resolved well before this final stage though.
For organisations involved in UK trade there is likely to be an obligation to register for UK VAT. We can assist with registering for VAT and also with other VAT administration such as setting-up VAT groups, options to tax, applying to use the VAT Flat Rate scheme or deregistering from VAT.
Once VAT registered, companies are obliged to compile and submit periodic VAT returns and possibly additional compliance returns such as Intrastat and European Sales Lists. We have a significant number of clients who we assist in preparing and submitting their period VAT compliance submissions. Our involvement gives our clients reassurance that they are complying with their UK VAT obligations and reduces
their risk of receiving financial penalties for non-compliance.
We also support clients with setting up importer ID numbers (EORI), duty deferment accounts, Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) applications and with customs duty regimes such as Customs Warehousing, Inward Processing Relief and Returned Goods Relief.
As VAT and Customs Duty are transactional taxes, any changes to your activities or organisational structure is likely to lead to a change in how you account for VAT/ Duty. For example, this could be an expansion into new markets that require overseas VAT registration or it could be a new product offering and you need to know what rate of VAT should be charged and how the product will be classified for Customs Duty purposes. We work with our clients to understand the changes and to advise on both how to comply with the rules and to optimise their position.
In-depth knowledge of the application of VAT to your industry allows us to deal promptly with your enquiries and to ensure your VAT position is maximised. We are regularly asked to present for regulators such as the Charity Finance Group, ICAEW, Independent Schools’ Bursars Association, and Charity Tax Group and we have also spoken at events for organisations such as the British Ports Association and the Department for International Trade.
We consider the VAT and Customs Duty issues that might arise from your business implications are known. In providing our consulting services, we regularly deal with finance and non-finance staff, so we are used to translating complex VAT and Customs regulations into plain English.
We place great importance on keeping ourselves and you fully abreast of statutory HMRC policy. We proactively identify and communicate new developments and opportunities both to save you VAT and Customs Duty and avoid unexpected costs and potential penalties.
Customs Duties vary according to the type of goods, their classification and origin, and as they are an irrecoverable cost they can have a direct impact on your margins. The same is true for Excise Duties charged on products such as alcohol, tobacco and hydrocarbon fuels. Equally, when importing goods, unforeseen delays in getting your goods declared and processed by customs can have significant repercussions.
Crowe UK is a member of a global network of Crowe entities. As a result, you may be a UK company engaged in e-commerce selling into overseas markets for the first time, or an established multi-national business with presence in a number of countries; via our international network we have the capability to help.
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