VAT & indirect taxes

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers

Call +44 (0)330 024 3200 and discover how we can help you.

As your business changes, VAT planning can offer opportunities to minimise tax and improve cashflow. However, VAT legislation is complex and frequently changing, with far reaching implications for your business.

Our VAT team have a deep understanding of the rules and how to apply them in areas such as land and property, international trade, business acquisitions and disposals. We provide reassurance that your VAT position is accurate and offer you simple and cost efficient solutions to your VAT issues.

Our VAT expertise

VAT Indirect Tax Principal, Ruth Corkin heads up our VAT team and has more than 30 years’ experience in VAT and customs & excise. She also sits on a number of committees and advisory groups including the Board of the International VAT Association, and was also an advisor to the Government on the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ruth Corkin sits on the Land & Property liaison group with HMRC and is currently taking part in the consultation on Zero rating.

International trading

  • Supply chain advisory to help improve efficiency and reduce costs
  • Importing and postponed VAT accounting in other countries
  • EU VAT refunds – Changes due to Brexit is causing major problems for many businesses. Many are being charged VAT incorrectly and the number of claims are increasing as a result. EU VAT reclaims are subject to limits and deadlines so getting advice from an expert is strongly recommended. We can help you put a processes in place to maximise reclaims.

We also have a dedicated customs team who offer a wide range of customs advisory services and can process import and export declarations. Visit our dedicated page to find out more.

Land and property VAT

  • Assistance with the new Domestic Reverse Charge – Many businesses are experiencing problems identifying the end user and some are being incorrectly charged VAT. We can help you identify whether your service is covered and provide documentation to satisfy suppliers and customers. If you are not currently registered in the Construction Industry Scheme we can help you identify whether you should be and the best way forward for your business.
  • Advice for developers – Advisory on the VAT treatment of a proposed development. Assistance with opting to tax, when you can and can’t and the impact on VAT.

Partial exemption

  • Assistance with claims to HMRC – Covid has had an impact on many businesses such as golf clubs meaning that average VAT recoveries of 20-30% are now down to 5-6%. We can assist you in putting a temporary alternative method to HMRC in order to increase your recoveries through this challenging period.

Corporate restructuring

VAT is often an afterthought when going through a corporate restructure, however, the impact of VAT can be significant and difficult to reverse. We can help to make sure the VAT impact of any restructure is properly considered and advise you on the most VAT efficient options.

VAT Training

We offer bespoke VAT training for your team covering UK and/or Irish VAT. We can design a full or half day training for your finance, procurement, sales, commercial or contracts staff., tailored to your individual company requirements.

Providing day to day advice and assistance on VAT matters:

  • Negotiating with HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf – for example we can help with “time to pay” due to Covid.
  • Planning and technical support to in-house tax managers
  • Structuring transactions to minimise VAT
  • VAT health checks

Indirect tax expertise

Update – Domestic reverse VAT charge for building and construction services

In 2019 we ran a series of seminars and published guides on introduction of the domestic reverse VAT charge. The start date was postponed until 1 March 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the construction sector. It is unlikely that this will be postponed again and therefore all VAT registered businesses in the construction sector need to be ready.

If you are an end user or intermediate supplier, it is a legal requirement that you inform your sub-contractors in writing in order to be excluded from the reverse charge. There’s more information about the legislation here.

You may find the following factsheets helpful as they contain more in-depth information on these important changes:

How it works

A guide for developers and owners

A guide for main contractors and sub contractors

Application to Employment bureaux and agencies


How do I claim back tax?

What taxes does a business pay when employing staff?

What Taxes Does a Business Have to Pay on its Trading Activities?

What is the CITB Levy for Construction Activities?

What are SDLT Grazing Rights?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) saving opportunities

What is all this about an on-line tax account I have read about?

What is research and development tax relief?

I have just started a business, do I need to complete a tax return?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): Q&A

What are SDLT opportunity knocks?

What are mixed-use and multiple dwellings relief?

What expenses can I claim as a residential landlord?

What’s the best way to incentivise staff?

Does my business qualify for EIS or SEIS?

What is Land Remediation Relief?

Electric vehicles

What are taxable employment benefits and expenses?

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

What are Trivial Benefits?

How are the research and development guidelines applied to software?

What is research and development and which costs qualify?

How do I reduce my company’s tax bills for R&D?

Does my business qualify for the Patent Box scheme?

What is the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)?

What is Business asset roll over relief?

How do Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) work?

What is EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme)?

How can I claim Capital Allowances on properties?

What is Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (“ATED”)?

I want to do business overseas, but it all looks so complicated?

Is it a good idea to buy a property within my company?

Can you help me agree a payment plan for corporation tax?

Why am I paying tax quarterly?

Is my company paying too much tax?

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