- "In the last 20 years our business has changed considerably…and as the focus of our business has changed, Bird Luckin have moved with us."
Alex Tanner, George Tanner (Shalford) Ltd
- "Bird Luckin has looked after us incredibly well for over 60 years, they are pro-active and innovational - meeting all our needs to help us achieve our aims."
Richard Stubbings, Cliffords Limited
- "I can honestly say that Bird Luckin are the best firm of accountants and auditors I have ever dealt with - and I don't say that lightly!"
Colin Webb, Walthamstow Stadium
- "It's important for us to know that we will always be able to contact the right people to give us the right advice and support."
Jane Bennett, Bennetts Funeral Directors
- "Although we deal mainly with one Partner … we also know that if we need to contact someone else who is a specialist in another area, we can get the advice we need quickly and easily"
Jeremy Ruggles, J.S. Wright & Sons Ltd
- "Bird Luckin got us to a stage which would have taken us months - if not years - to reach on our own, and they got us there in a matter of weeks"
Matthew Sullivan, SNC Ltd
- "You can be a good accountant, but if you don't have an understanding of the industry it can be very difficult. "There are two or three people we have regular contact with at Bird Luckin who know our business well, and it makes a difference.""
Robert Church, W A Church (Bures) Ltd
- "The work which Bird Luckin has done for Boddingtons over the past few months has helped shape our future direction for the better."
John Warner, Chief Executive, Boddingtons Ltd
- "Bird Luckin has acted for us since our inception 10 years ago. They have a very 'can do' yet highly professional attitude - we are very appreciative of their support and advice over the years."
Marlon Fox, Outlook Property Ltd
The VAT man cometh
One of life's certainties is that if you are a VAT registered business, sooner or later you will receive a visit from a HM Revenue & Customs officer. VAT control, or 'assurance' visits, as Customs prefers to call them, are an integral part of the system. Their main purpose is to ensure that your returns are an accurate reflection of your business activities and VAT liability. Every trader can expect a visit every few years as a matter of course.
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However, their frequency is by no means predictable. You may find yourself singled out at any time if:
- You have a history of poor compliance
- There has been a change in the pattern of your VAT returns
- Your business is seen as high risk (e.g. a cash business)
Don't be caught out
The cost of being caught unawares by a VAT assurance visit can be considerable. You could find yourself facing:
- Hours of valuable time wasted
- Extra costs incurred in sorting out all the paperwork
- Potential penalties and interest charges
- The possibility of a follow-up enquiry by HM Revenue & Customs
A VAT assurance visit usually has two parts:
- It begins with an interview, during which the officer will seek a broad understanding of your accounting system and general commercial activities. He or she will be looking for possible areas of weakness in your accounting records.
- During the second part, the officer will examine your records to ensure that you have completed your returns correctly. Constraints of time will mean that he or she will probably focus on sensitive areas identified during the original interview.
If you are not prepared, or if you are not sure of your facts, a visit can be a daunting experience. We can make your life easier by attending the meetings and assisting with answering the questions. This could save you considerable time, expense, and inconvenience. As with most other things, a professional helping hand in this area can add real value to your business.
Do contact us if you would like further help or advice on this subject.