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VAT Risk Management and Control

The key to having robust VAT controls lies firstly in understanding the end to end VAT processes and controls within the business. In other words, understanding each step in the process from gaining a new client/customer or taking on a new supplier and creating VAT master data, to ultimately filing an accurate VAT return and dealing with VAT audits.  The stages in between involve key VAT decisions being made, and gaining an understanding of how this happens is vital to ensure compliance.

We can help ensure your business processes are controlled from a VAT perspective so that VAT risk is managed and the likelihood of errors arising is reduced.   The reviews also provide comfort to SAOs (Senior Accounting Officers) on the effectiveness of VAT controls within the business, enabling them to attest to this annually as required under the SAO regulations.   

If a business does not fall under HMRC’s LBS (Large Business Service), HMRC VAT audits can be infrequent, and whilst this may sound attractive initially, the majority of businesses want certainty that they are handling VAT correctly.  Periodic VAT healthchecks can provide reassurance of this.  Similarly it can be helpful to have a healthcheck prior to a HMRC audit to identify any areas for disclosure and discussion.

Recent projects include the following:
  • End to end VAT process and control mapping to identify potential areas of weakness and recommend improvements (FTSE 100 service provider operating in UK)
  • Diagnostic VAT healthcheck, overhaul of tax codes in use, creation of comprehensive VAT manual, training key staff (Nordic region for global manufacturer)
  • Acting as quasi internal audit team reviewing sample AP transactions on quarterly basis to ensure VAT invoices from suppliers are compliant (multijurisdictions for global etailer)
  • Assisting with HMRC audits (various clients)
  • Carrying out bespoke VAT reviews/healthchecks focused on areas of concern.  This might involve reviewing the VAT liability of revenues, or could be a general healthcheck in preparation for an HMRC audit (golf club, business travel agent)
  • VAT healthcheck prior to HMRC audit (etailer selling into UK)

Julie Park

Managing Director
– VAT and Customs Duty
T: +44 203 2806902
M: +44 781 400 4236

Fiona Scullion

M: +44 7989 135 474
T: +44 203 2806902