Liz Maher Empower blog May 2013
20th May 2013
Empower Blog: May 2013
VAT’s the world coming to….
This week may well prove to be one of the busiest on record for yours truly - in terms of VAT speaking engagements and events – and the charity sector looms large in it!
Tuesday 21st May we are hosting our second annual VAT Forum for the Welsh Housing Association sector and there’s a lot to pack into the morning’s discussions. One topic we want to air is around the VAT treatment which should follow the administration fee elements associated with programmes such as disabled facilities grant work; physical adaptations works; rapid response programmes and independent living grant projects.
Hopefully, we’ll also try to achieve some clarity on the nature of who is supplying what, to whom, in terms of tracking the VAT treatment of the building elements undertaken by contractors as I can’t help thinking there may be some VAT opportunities being missed in this area.
After finishing this forum in the morning I will be hot footing it (all at legal speed limits) from Nantgarw to Cardiff City Stadium where we have a session called: “I’m a Charity and I don’t pay VAT: Myth or Reality?”, which is one of the breakout sessions in the WCVA Charity Law Conference – so I hope to see a few of you there as well.
Wednesday takes me out of VAT & charities for a bit with a VAT slot in a Hugh James hosted session for the Welsh Local Government Association training programme on Tax & VAT issues in the property area.
There will also be a further session that day on VAT issues in the catering services sector for clients of HSJ Accountants in Newport—yes - Jaffa cakes may well feature here as well as tales of ambient temperature pasties!
Thursday takes the team in different directions with Julie and I off to Exeter to host the South West Housing Association VAT Forum and Louise and Alan, after a day with Education sector clients in Wales, heading off to the big smoke (that’s London not Cardiff!) to see if Centurion has won the 2013 Taxation Awards: Best UK VAT team; up against the big boys from Deloitte and KPMG. No doubt you will hear about it if we do!!
Sometimes, when you’ve been immersed in VAT for as long as we have, it’s important to remember that, whilst the big ticket projects, where proactive VAT management is high on the agenda and millions of pounds of VAT costs are at stake, are a real thrill to help out on, you can also make a huge difference to a small charity, where every pound counts. For example, the special educational needs college we’ve done a VAT health check review for in rural Wales, where we’ve managed to get HMRC to agree to refund them the VAT on a small building project which was a few thousand pounds they weren’t expecting!
Another salutary reminder of the problems VAT can cause a small enterprise came on Friday, with a call to ask if we could help a small enterprise trading online who had just had a first VAT visit and received an £11k assessment, which was a huge shock! It remains to be seen if we will be able to help with this one but we will certainly give it a good go.
Getting VAT right all the time is certainly a challenge. Our discussions at The Great Debate on the issues of trying to establish whether monies a charity receives are grant payments or monies for services provided proved that yet again. The representative from the procurement side in Welsh Government certainly took away quite a list of comments from the sector to pass on to her colleagues in the Rapid Response Grants Team. This was not without good humour, especially as comments arose that indicated the sector felt the unit was neither ‘rapid’ nor ‘responsive’!
For further feedback on that event do check out our news sections on www.centurionvat.com
So, its fingers crossed for the Awards on the 23rd May in London and hopefully the VAT team here will be smiling on Friday!
Follow us on @VATbat and @Centuriononvat for updates or register on our website www.centurionvat.com to receive out free quarterly VAT Updates.
And remember, “If VAT’s all Greek to you… think Roman and call Centurion!”
Britain could raise VAT on exempt items from food to energy, IMF suggests - Telegraph.co.uk
22 May 2013 16:21
Clothing firm boss jailed for VAT fraud - The Birmingham Post
22 May 2013 07:44
Crooked magistrate jailed for VAT fraud which led to £1m of taxpayers' cash ... - Daily Mail
15 May 2013 18:03
'Pasty tax' confusion for Cornish businesses over 20% VAT - BBC News
14 May 2013 10:53
Support Grows For Low Hospitality VAT In UK, Ireland - Tax-news.com
3 May 2013 09:57
VAT Cheat builder is ordered to pay £1.3m - Express.co.uk
3 May 2013 06:51
Man held in £ 500k VAT fraud probe new A man from west Belfast has been ... - Belfast Telegraph
2 May 2013 15:25
UK: Cut in VAT could create thousands of jobs, claim pub and restaurant chains - East Anglian Daily Times
1 May 2013 06:04
Miliband Says U.K. Borrowing Would Rise If Labour Wins - Bloomberg
30 April 2013 15:30
A cut in VAT to 5 % could create 670000 UK jobs - MorningAdvertiser.co.uk
30 April 2013 15:15