VAT Returns

We provide all VAT services including registration, VAT Returns, compliance and specialist VAT advice

  • Affordable fixed fees
  • Fast Reliable Service
  • Dedicated accountant
  • Plain English Service

Shires Accountants – VAT accountants, our experienced team can help you avoid costly VAT mistakes and achieve big savings.

At Shires we work closely with our clients guiding them through the ever-changing complex legislation and ensuring that they do not over or under pay VAT.

We can assist clients with the initial registration process, the selection of the most appropriate VAT scheme and EC VAT (if applicable), offer advice on record keeping, payment planning and completion of VAT returns always ensuring that the maximum amount of VAT is recovered by you.

Further should a dispute or VAT enquiry be raised by HMRC Shires Accountants has vast experience in representing clients at tribunal and negotiating with HMRC.

We’d be pleased to discuss your VAT queries, large or small.

VAT Registration and returns

There are two types of VAT registrations Compulsory and Voluntary:

Compulsory registration

Each individual businesses is responsible concerning their VAT registration obligations. Once the VAT threshold has been breached then HMRC must be informed within set time scales. If you breach the threshold this and do not register it can result in sizable penalties. We can help by monitoring your turnover on a regular basis and when necessary, we can discuss and advise on the various VAT schemes and register your business for VAT on your behalf.

Voluntary registration

If your businesses operates under the VAT threshold it still may benefit from being VAT registered. We can assess and monitor your circumstances and advise on the best course of action.

Ongoing VAT obligations

Once your business is registered for VAT, you are required to keep proper records normally on HMRC approved bookkeeping /accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks and electronically submit VAT returns on an ongoing basis. The Shires team can discuss and advise on your registration options, advise on suitable accounts software, prepare and submitt your returns ensuring you meet your VAT obligations.

HMRC VAT enquries / investigations

HMRC enquries or investigations can be extremely complicated and time consuming. The Shires team are well versed in supporting clients with these examinations, We can explain the proceedure, offer practical advice, prepare papers in a format acceptable to HMRC and discuss or meet with HMRC on your behalf.

All with a view to concluding the dispute quickly and as agreeable for you as possible.

VAT Schemes

HMRC operate a number VAT schemes therefore choosing the right VAT one for your business can improve cashflow and save you time and money.

Each scheme has its own set of eligibility criteria, and what’s suitable for one business may not be for another.

The main schemes are:

- VAT Standard scheme

- VAT Annual accounting scheme

- VAT Flat rate scheme

- VAT Cash accounting scheme

- VAT Margin scheme

- VAT Retail schemes

- Capital Goods scheme

In addition to the various VAT schemes some organisations can be considered exempt from VAT, particularly if they are not involved in taxable business activities i.e many Charities. In addition many products may be exempt from VAT such as insurance, finance, credit and the purchase and letting of certain land and buildings. 

There are also various VAT rates attributed to certain items for example Children’s clothes and footwear are exempt whilst catering and take-away food is charged at 5 percent.

VAT is not a straight forward tax and there are many pitfalls, therefore It's a good idea to talk to us about VAT.  The Shires team can review your circumstances and advise on the most efficient VAT position for your business.

Property VAT

VAT issues involving land, property and construction transactions are particularly complex and you could easily breach regulations or miss out on large tax savings.

Given the often large amounts of money involved and the risk of error we recommend to all our clients that they involve us to review their requirements at the earliest possible opportunity.

Partial exemption 

As highlighted in VAT schemes above, partially exempt businesses which make both taxable and exempt supplies are notoriously difficult to calculate VAT for, particularly when recovering the VAT element on their costs. If your accountant does not completely understand Partial Exemption they will not achieve the best outcome for a business and it could potentially cost you £1000s each year.

At Shires Accountants we are with well versed in working with partially exempt businesses and ensure that our clients business recover all the tax that is incurred on goods and services used or are to be used in making taxable supplies.


Businesses which trade outside the UK operate through complex VAT rules.  At Shires we work with client that trade throughout europe, America, Canada and the far east therefore we have a wealth of experience in this field including:

Intra-Community supply within the EU

EC Sales Lists

Intrastat cross boarder reporting

Private consumer distance sales


Intra EU supplies of services

VAT Mini One Stop Shop (VAT MOSS)

Making tax digital for VAT

MTD for VAT is to be introduced by HMRC in April 2019 for businesses trading above the VAT registration threshold of £ 85,000. MTD requires that records are kept in a digital format and VAT returns are filed from approved accounting software. MTD for other taxes such as corporation tax and self-employment income tax has been delayed until 2020 at the earliest.

Businesses with a taxable turnover less than £ 85,000 who are VAT registered presently can choose traditional methods or via MTD approved software.

MTD for VAT basically means that you will need to use an HMRC approved bookkeeping/accounting software provider such as Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, etc... there are 100s and you can see more here.

It is no longer acceptable to keep VAT records on software such as Excel unless it has been developed by an HMRC approved spreadsheet provider.

Specialist VAT sectors

We have been working on complex and specialist VAT issues for over 20 year and have indepth knowledge of sectors where VAT issues can be complex, including. 

- Land and Property

- Automotive

- Charities and not-for-profit organisations

- Medical and optical

- Construction

- Energy 

- Local authorities

- Academy schools

The right VAT advice can help you avoid penalties and potentally save you £1000s, The Shires Team will be pleased to discuss any VAT quries or issues you may have, simply call us on 01270 820273 or complete the contact form below and we will get back to you.