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Q – How do you charge?

A – We are flexible in the way we charge.  We can agree a set fee for a job or charge on an hourly basis.  Whichever way we agree with you to charge there will be no surprises and we will never exceed the value of the quote without prior agreement, even if the scope of the work changes.

Q – Why would I need VAT planning? What is VAT planning, why would a business want it carried out, and how is it done?

A – Simply put, we need to ensure; “right tax, right time”. This means compliance with the relevant legislation but not paying any more VAT than is necessary. Since VAT is a transaction based tax, timing is often crucial and the objective is to; legitimately defer payment to HMRC until the latest time possible, thus improving cash flow and retaining the use of VAT monies for as long as possible. The converse of this of course, is to obtain any repayments of VAT due from HMRC as soon as possible. We must also consider avoiding VAT representing an actual cost and taking advantage of any beneficial UK and EC legislation, determinations, guidance, case law and Business Briefs etc available.

VAT Planning objectives

A summary of these objectives are as follows:

  • Compliance
  • Business planning
  • Avoiding unnecessary tax costs
  • Maximising input tax claims
  • Minimising VAT payable where possible
  • Obtaining any refunds and retrospective claims due
  • Avoiding penalties and interest
  • Improving cash flow
  • Improving competitive position
  • Minimising administration

Q – What do HMRC think about a business obtaining VAT advice?

A – HMRC consider that a business takes VAT seriously and is aware of its responsibilities if it seeks professional advice.  Consequently, in some situations this may go some way to mitigating penalties (if an error has been made previously) it may demonstrate that a taxpayer has taken “reasonable steps”.

Q – I’ve heard about tax schemes that HMRC attack and I don’t want to get involved in that type of thing and risk penalties, or even worse.

A – Marcus Ward Consultancy Ltd does not market, advise on, or advocate aggressive schemes. The company provides bespoke solutions to an individual business and does not believe in “one size fits all” mass marketed schemes.  We will always work within the law and the spirit of the law.  We operate a full disclosure policy and may refuse to work with you if you do not subscribe to this attitude.  We will, on occasion, cross swords with HMRC if we believe we are correct and that HMRC are being unreasonable and we will fight to uphold our clients’ rights against any unfair accusations.

Q – Are you one of those dull accountants who talk in a strange language and baffle me with science?

A – No!

…Oh, to expand; you will be dealing with real people talking plain English and only slipping into legal speak when absolutely necessary and even then we will explain what it means to your business.  We are proud of the fact that our clients regularly call us “professional but friendly” and that we treat every person and every business as unique.  We recognise that each client has issues specific to them and you will deal with the same person each time you have contact with us.

Q – What doesn’t Marcus Ward Consultancy Ltd do?

A – We do not carry out regular “compliance,” legal or accountancy work.  However, we work very closely with good people who can provide that for you if required.

We do not sell “off the shelf” tax schemes.  We are able to advise on these, however, we do not believe that these always deliver what is promised.  We are conscious of, and determined to preserve, our company’s good relationship with HMRC.  We are also happy to discuss bespoke structures for your business that may put you in a more beneficial position, but which challenge HMRC’s views, however we will always explain the risks of these structures.

We do not advise on VAT “in isolation”.  Experience insists that VAT does not exist in a bubble and often, planning, restructuring and other changes impact on other aspects of a business.  We are experienced in recognising and understanding such impacts and we are able to work closely with other legal and accountancy firms.   The last thing we want is to come in, disrupt procedures, charge a fee and leave without any other concerns for a business.  We manage any VAT impacts carefully and comprehensively.  We enjoy leaving a business in a better state than when we arrived.

We will not overcharge you.  We are scrupulous about our time recording and fee notes. You will only ever pay for precisely the amount of work carried out for you – and not a penny more.

Q –  Who can I complain to if I am dissatisfied with the service.

A – Please contact us in the first instance.  We take all complaints seriously and deal with them promptly.

You are also able to take any grievance to our governing Institute; The Chartered Institute of Taxation http://www.tax.org.uk/Standards


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