VAT Accounting Schemes

Just about everyone has heard of VAT (value-added tax). We’re used to paying it on many of the goods and services we purchase as we go about our everyday lives.

But when you have your own business, you’ll learn a whole new world of VAT exists as you work out how to apply it to your own trade. That’s because there are numerous VAT accounting schemes that HMRC offers, and which one is right for you will depend on the nature of your business.

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VQOTW: POST BREXIT SUPPLIES OF DIGITAL SERVICES – VAT MOSS

I have a number of clients supplying various kinds of digital /electronically supplied services to businesses and consumers in the EU. Their activities include the supply of downloadable software and Apps, and access to information, photo or videos held online. They currently use the VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VAT MOSS) via their UK VAT registration, to account for VAT on the sales to EU Consumers. How is this going to change after we leave the EU on 1st January 2021?

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VQOTW: TEMPORARY REDUCED RATING FOR THE HIRE OF BOATS AND MOTORHOMES

My client’s limited company owns various holiday cottages and they are applying the temporary reduced rate to this income from 15th July 2020 to 12th January 2021. They also own several narrow boats, camper vans and motorhomes which have become very popular this year with more families wanting to holiday in the UK in their own personal space. They have read various articles online and they are a little confused as to whether the reduced rate can be applied to the rental income received from narrow boats, camper vans and motorhomes?

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VQOTW: VAT CHANGE OF RATE AND IMPACT ON VOUCHERS

My client operates a luxury hotel in the UK. They have recently reopened and will now recommence selling face value gift vouchers. The holder can redeem their vouchers against room reservations, dining at the restaurant/bar and when using the leisure and spa facilities. The restaurant does not offer a takeaway service. Historically the client has always charged VAT at the standard rate on all their supplies. Could you please clarify the impact of the temporary rate change on the issue of face value vouchers. When will the VAT be due and at which rate?

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VQOTW: Self supply car non qualifying use

My client is a limited company operating a self-drive car hire business. I understand that because the cars are intended to be used primarily for self-drive hire, the vehicles are excepted from the block on recovery of input tax, and my client has recovered VAT in full on the purchase of each car.

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Covid19 Update VAT rate change to 5%

Please find enclosed our guidelines for the Vat change today relating to the hospitality, attraction and accommodation supply sectors. Remember Supply is the main word. It is fairly clear cut for most businesses but become Grey for those on the fringes of these sectors. If you supply these industries, in most cases, nothing has changed.

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THE CAPITAL GOODS SCHEME FOR VAT

The VAT capital goods scheme affects input VAT recovery
relating to high-value capital assets. Input VAT is a tax incurred
on most purchases made by VAT-registered firms, and they can
usually reclaim it from HMRC in full.

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VQOTW: RECOVERY OF VAT INCURRED PRIOR TO VAT REGISTRATION

My client ran his decorating business for three years as a sole trader and is now going to incorporate. As a sole trader his turnover never quite reached the registration threshold but he will VAT register when he incorporates as a lot of his customers are now contractors. Will he be able to recover VAT on his limited company registration on the van, tools, and equipment he bought as a sole trader and will still use in the company?

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VQOTW: AMAZON SELLERS

My client is a recently retired police dog handler. He has decided to start up a business selling dog-training and pet accessories online through Amazon. Do you have some pointers for what we need to think about in terms of VAT compliance obligations?

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VQOTW: USE AND ENJOYMENT

We have been approached by a new client who is VAT registered, and their business activity is the hire of audio visual equipment. They are looking to invoice a Canadian music company for the hire of sound and lighting equipment.

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VQOTW: VAT MYTHS

Client is adamant that their car dealer has advised them that VAT incurred on the purchase of an electric car is recoverable in full.

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VQOTW: DIRECT AND INDIRECT EXPORTS

My client has been asked to supply footballs for use by a youth team in Kenya. They will deliver direct to the shipper, but will invoice a UK charity. Please could you confirm whether they can zero-rate the sale under the export rules?

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VQOTW: FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

My client is an independent mortgage advisor, who is not VAT registered. Her turnover is above £85,000 and all of her income is either commission, which is paid by UK lenders, and flat fees received from customers seeking a mortgage. (more…)

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VQOTW: RENOVATION OF AN EMPTY DWELLING

My client recently purchased an empty 3 bedroom bungalow that hasn’t been lived in for 4 years. He intends to spend £30k extending and refurbishing the property into a 4 bedroom house, which he and his family will move in to. (more…)

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VQOTW: MARGIN SCHEME

My client is a car dealer and operates the margin scheme. He has purchased a classic car which is a collectors’ item and has imported the car into the UK from the US. I understand that the car was involved in some historic event in the US. My client has been told that he can sell the car at the reduced rate of 5%. Is this correct?
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VQOTW: QUALIFYING CARS

My client purchased a car for use in her business, which the dealer said was a qualifying car. My client took this to mean that she can recover the VAT but I disagree. Obviously my view has not gone down well with the client, but am I correct?
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VQOTW: PROPERTIES ON HAND AT DEREGISTRATION

One of my clients deregistered recently and has now received a letter from HMRC asking about a property that he bought four years ago for £150,000 and opted to tax. Although there was no VAT chargeable on the purchase, the property was empty at the time and in quite a poor condition as the seller was reluctant to spend money on it, so my client also spent £100,000 doing it up ready to let out. He opted to tax so that he would be able to recover the VAT on this refurbishment, and until deregistering has charged VAT on the rent. What does he need to do? As he has already cancelled his registration is he going to receive a huge assessment? The property is now worth around £300,000.
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THE NUMEROUS QUIRKS AND FOIBLES OF VAT

Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits or, as the name implies, cakes?
This question is one of the most famous examples of the kind of debate that happens frequently in the world of VAT because precise definitions can make the difference between sink or swim for businesses that sell the products under discussion. (more…)

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VQOTW: ENERGY SAVING MATERIALS

My client is planning major renovations to her home to make it more “eco-friendly”. This will involve the installation of a number of energy-saving materials such as solar panels, insulation, and an air source pump to provide both heating and cooling functions. However, she has heard there are imminent changes to the VAT treatment of such supplies and is concerned she may miss out on current VAT reliefs. Please could you clarify? (more…)

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VQOTW: REVERSE CHARGE SERVICES FROM OVERSEAS

My client is an insurance company, they are VAT registered and partially exempt (85% exempt/15% taxable). They have invested £200,000 in bespoke computer software. The software was written for them by an Israeli company, who are renowned leaders in software security. HMRC have recently inspected the insurance business and made an assessment of £34,000. My client is confused as to how they have a VAT assessment on an invoice that didn’t even have any VAT on it. (more…)

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VQOTW: CULTURAL ADMISSIONS

My client is an amateur dramatic society operating via a company limited by guarantee. They own their own premises and charge admissions to their productions. The admissions have grown to £80,000 in the last 12 months, and alongside this income, they have £20,000 from bar sales and they also occasionally perform at other theatres. They don’t control the box office for these performances at other theatres; instead, they are paid a fixed fee by the theatre for performing, and income from this is £10,000. As their total sales are now £110,000 for the last 12 months, I’m assuming they have to register for VAT? (more…)

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VQOTW: DOMESTIC REVERSE CHARGES

I have recently been reading up about the domestic reverse charge for construction services which comes in in October 2019, including the helpful VQOTW (14 June 2019), but this has got me wondering whether there are any other reverse charges in the UK I should be aware of, and why they are increasingly being used by HMRC? (more…)

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CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SCHEME

And upcoming changes for reverse charge VAT.
Few sectors have such an impact in the UK as the construction industry. It not only provides the fabric of our nation – the places where we live and work – but also underpins our entire economy. (more…)

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VQOTW: DISTANCE SELLING IN THE EU

My client is a small retailer specialising in bespoke leather goods, and all sales to date have been within the UK. In order to expand her customer base, she is launching a website and planning to sell through Amazon. Are there any VAT consequences she needs to consider?
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VQOTW: DEREGISTERING WHERE THE TRADING PREMISES HAS BEEN OPTED UNNECESSARILY

My client is a small independent retailer selling mobile phones and accessories, with turnover below the VAT registration threshold. Last year, in September 2018, they bought the premises they were occupying from their landlord. The landlord had opted to tax and the purchase price was £100,000 plus VAT. In order to recover the VAT, the client VAT registered and notified their own option to tax. The client’s turnover has remained below the threshold, and they have asked me whether they can deregister, and what the consequences of that would be.
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VQOTW: PRIVATE TUITION

My client is a Limited Company and runs a swim school, teaching children. The client’s turnover is close to £85,000. I would like to confirm that my client is making exempt supplies of education and therefore does not need to VAT register.
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VQOTW: HOME OFFICE

My client is the director of an interior design company. The company rents a small unit for storing stock, but this space is not really suitable for use as an office. She is exploring the possibility of having a home-office erected in her garden. Could you please advise on the VAT recoverability of such a project?
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VQOTW: FLAT RATE PRE-REGISTRATION VAT

My client is about to register for VAT and wants to use the flat rate scheme as she meets the conditions and it would be beneficial to her. However, her intention is to register for normal VAT initially, in order to recover pre-registration input tax, and then after the first return has been filed, switch to the flat rate scheme. Is this acceptable or will HMRC challenge it?
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VQOTW: MTD AND CASH ACCOUNTING

My client is a wedding and party planner, and is compulsorily VAT registered operating the cash accounting scheme. Their current system is not particularly sophisticated and they only operate using a manual cashbook. I am in the process of ensuring they are MTD compliant for their 07/19 return, but want to keep things as simple as possible for them. Can they continue to operate a cashbook in a spreadsheet format and submit via bridging software?
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VQOTW: 28 DAY RULE

My client runs a small bed and breakfast and a furnished apartment which to date has been let on an Airbnb basis with a daily linen change and cleaning service. Normally she would account for VAT on all of these stays. Now she has received an enquiry from a construction company about exclusive use of both for a period of 12 months to house some of its employees working away from home. Should she still charge VAT?
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VQOTW: INPUT TAX ON RE-REGISTERING FOR VAT

My client is a bathroom fitter and was VAT registered from January 2017 to March 2018 as he had a contract with a large developer to fit en-suites into new-build dwellings. His supplies were mostly zero-rated and he received repayments of VAT from HMRC. He bought a new commercial vehicle and specialist tooling in August 2016 on which he recovered the VAT as pre-registration input tax. On his final return, for the tax period ending 31st March 2018, he accounted for VAT on all the assets and stock on hand as a deemed supply.
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Registering For Making Tax Digital For VAT

The moment has come: if your business has a taxable turnover above the VAT-registration threshold, which is currently £85,000, you’re now obliged to keep records in digital form and to file your VAT returns using HMRC-approved software. (more…)

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VQOTW: BUILDING MATERIALS

My client is a builders’ merchant and has supplied steel sheets to a customer who is building his own home. The customer has provided my client with a copy of the planning consent supporting the demolition of an existing property and the construction of a new dwelling. Can my client zero-rate the supply of the steel?
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VQOTW: CHARITY FUNDRAISING

Over the last few years, my client and a couple of his friends have run a small local beer and cider festival; any profits they make are given to local charities. They sell a few tickets in advance and have sponsorship/advertising income, but most sales occur on the day of the event. In the last few years, they have been below the VAT registration threshold, but with the number of people attending increasing year on year and the wonderful summer we had in 2018, they did exceed the VAT registration threshold by £800. As all the profits are donated to charity, can the client benefit from the charity fundraising exemption?
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VQOTW: ONLINE TRADERS SELLING TO GERMANY USING AMAZON

My client is an online retailer, selling through Amazon and other online marketplaces. They have recently received correspondence from Amazon with regard to the online sales they make to customers in Germany. It appears that Amazon is insisting that my client must VAT register in Germany if they want to continue to sell to German customers via Amazon. Can you advise what has prompted this action?
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VQOTW: CHANGE IN POLICY FOR RETAINED DEPOSITS

My client and her husband run a boutique hotel in partnership. Due to the location and quirky nature of the décor, they are increasingly getting requests to host celebrations and parties in addition to overnight accommodation. As the financial outlay in preparing and staging the events can be quite considerable, the client asks for a 25% deposit up-front, which is non-refundable if the event is cancelled. Please, could you advise on the VAT treatment and time of supply implications of these deposit payments? (more…)

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VAT Question of the Week: Input VAT – Too Late to Claim?

My client has been approached by a builder, who carried out repair work to the client’s factory some years ago. The builder was late registering for VAT and is now looking to issue VAT only invoices to my client for the supplies in question. I have several concerns: is the supplier liable to account for the VAT if the supplies were made more than 4 years ago? Is my client obliged to pay and if so can he now recover the VAT given that the original invoices were dated more than 4 years ago?
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Vat Question of the Week: Sale of Trading Premises

My client, a small owner-managed company, purchased five-year-old freehold premises to trade from in June 2017. The total cost of the premises and refurbishment was 180K + VAT, which the company reclaimed in full in the 06/17 period, and the company has occupied it since for its engineering business. The business has always been fully taxable.
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VAT Question of the Week: Hotel Deposits

My client frequently has to stay in hotels for business. The hotel takes a deposit at the time of booking with the balance of the cost paid over when the stay takes place. Sometimes my client’s plans, or those of his customer, change and he cancels the booking and the hotel keeps the deposit paid. Some hotels send a VAT invoice covering the amount of the deposit they retain after the cancellation and some say that they cannot issue a VAT invoice because VAT is not applicable to the amount they have retained. Which is correct for VAT purposes? (more…)

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MTD for VAT-registered businesses

Obligations from 1 April 2019 onwards.

Although the Making Tax Digital (MTD) regime has suffered several setbacks and delays, MTD for VAT remains on course to take effect from its planned implementation date of 1 April 2019.

Under the scheme, VAT-registered businesses are required to maintain digital records, complete the VAT return from the digital records and send it electronically to HMRC.

Read the full article here.

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