Ruth has been involved with VAT for over 35 years. She started her VAT career as a Customs and Excise Officer in Essex and then moved into consultancy with a variety of well-known accountancy firms. She is well known in the VAT world and is the proud author of many articles and technical works.
She took a career break of 12 years to raise her family and also ran her own business during this time, which gave her an insight as to how businesses are run and the support that owners need to help with growth.
Ruth was formerly the Technical Chair of the VAT Practitioners Group and, as part of that role, she sat on numerous committees with HMRC representatives at a high level, including the one for the implementation of “Making Tax Digital” relating to VAT. These committees provided a useful forum for learning about legislative and policy issues and changes. She was also responsible for the technical output for the VPG, including consultation responses and was instrumental in ensuring that HMRC did not change its policy on the recovery of VAT on goods and services purchased prior to registration.
Ruth is also a member of the ICAEW Tax Faculty VAT and Duties sub-committee. As part of this role, she also sits on the CIOT VAT technical committee. She represents the ICAEW at the HMRC Finance Liaison Group and Land and Property Liaison Group meetings, where issues relating to financial services, insurance, construction, property and land are aired and discussed. Ruth is an ICAEW representative for the Joint Customs Consultative Committee Guidance and Northern Ireland Subcommittee, providing insights to HMRC as to how the UK boarder work for businesses. More recently she was invited to be party of the ICAEW’s “VAT fit for 2030” initiative, looking at making UK VAT fit for the 21st century.
Pre Brexit, Ruth was invited to advise the Government on the Alternative Arrangements for Northern Ireland Committee, which provided the basis for the Northern Ireland Protocol for the UK’s exit from the EU. She is currently championing the access to HMRC’s systems for SMEs in order for them to be able to prepare customs declaration and has set up HH’s customs declaration service line. Previously she was also seconded part-time to the Office of Tax Simplification, where she worked on the VAT Review Project. The project looked at ways of simplifying the VAT rules and the report was published in early November. Several of the recommendations that Ruth made are currently being worked on by the OTS.
She was also responsible for the national training for VAT staff at manager level and below at Grant Thornton UK LLP and used to present educational seminars for one of the leading VAT training providers.
Ruth is also a board member of the International VAT Association, which enables her to keep abreast of global VAT developments for clients.