HMRC Dispute Resolution

Within VAT legislation, there are areas that can be complicated and businesses can occasionally be dragged, unintentionally, into areas of challenge and / or conflict with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). It is often the case that VAT issues can be avoided where the business proactively seeks advice from a professional VAT consultant to consider transactions (VAT is a transaction-based tax) in advance. However, we are fully aware that sometimes VAT can become an issue after a transaction, or event, has occurred and a business is then at risk from a potential HMRC challenge, and penalties.

Written clearance / ruling

Where there is any demonstrable material uncertainty, or complexity, around the VAT position after consultation with us and there is time to allow for the matter to be resolved in advance of the transaction happening, we have significant experience of preparing correspondence to HMRC for written clearance (i.e. a ruling on the position of VAT uncertainty) in order to provide the business with VAT certainty.

As HMRC has a detailed checklist for clearances, any failure to comply with all items on it may invalidate the request for clearance. Consequently, a request for clearance may not be straightforward and usually requires a significant amount of work and a good knowledge of VAT legislation.

Where the VAT issue has occurred and written clearance is no longer a viable option, then VAT Services (Scotland) Ltd can still assist your business in the following ways:

  • Writing to HMRC for a Local Reconsideration of its decision and / or any VAT assessment;
  • Assisting the business with an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in certain cases to settle certain disputes quickly and avoiding the costly process of taking a case to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT); and,
  • In the unfortunate circumstance that no resolution can be reached with HMRC, then we can also assist businesses in making an appeal to the FTT.