VAT Accountants in London and Hertfordshire

How can we help you with VAT?

Keeping up with VAT changes can cause unnecessary headaches for your business and is a complex task. Our VAT experts will keep you up to date whilst making sure everything you do is compliant and will stay on top of legislative changes so that you don’t have to, as we recognise that your time may be limited. We can give you the peace of mind that your VAT obligations are taken care of by our dedicated VAT experts.

Why are VAT accounting services important?

VAT is simple enough in theory, but it can easily become complicated depending on what your business does. It’s also changing all the time, at a much faster rate than corporate taxes, so it’s worth having a VAT expert at hand who can guide you through any legislative or compliance changes you need to be aware of, keep up to date on things that could affect the way you do business and ensure every box is always ticked.

VAT errors are often difficult to fix retrospectively, and VAT is a transactional tax meaning the correct treatment should be applied at the time of the transaction.  It is therefore crucial to have a reliable expert at hand to ensure that everything is correct. Not only is it helpful to be able to rely on these services at any time but it’s good practice to undertake a full review of your VAT situation every 2-3 years to ensure you and your business are fully complying with the rules.

At Rayner Essex the full suite of VAT services that we provide ensures that everything is covered.

What VAT accounting services does Rayner Essex provide?

VAT registrations and returns

We can ensure compliance with both of these processes,  we file all VAT registrations online because these tend to be processed more quickly by HMRC.  Once VAT registered, we can offer cloud accounting solutions as well as helping you to meet your filing deadlines and comply with Making Tax Digital obligations.

Partial exemption

Calculations for this are mandatory if conditions are met and it can often be a complex process.  Where a business has both taxable and exempt income, the ability to reclaim input tax on purchases will be determined by the partial exemption calculation.  We perform these calculations and ensure full compliance with legislation, while always aiming to maximise your VAT recovery wherever possible.

Capital Goods Scheme

These calculations are mandatory if conditions are met. When a capital item (property) with a value over £250,000 has reclaimed input tax, the Capital Goods Scheme requires monitoring for 10 years. It can be a complicated process, but we will perform calculations on your behalf, ensuring full compliance and working to maximise your VAT recovery wherever possible.

Property and VAT

One of the most complex aspects of VAT, property VAT usually involves large calculations taking into account a wide range of factors. The aspects that we can assist with include:

  • Option to tax
  • Capital Goods Scheme
  • Domestic reverse charge for construction services
  • Advisory on Reduced rates for conversion
  • Advisory on zero rating for village halls, annexes and new dwellings
  • Understanding the history of an existing property is as important as the future use of the property.

Post-Brexit Trading

One of the biggest changes for businesses to have had to deal with in recent years, we can assist companies in the UK and the EU with VAT registration in the UK (or in the EU and rest of the world via our partners). We can both ensure compliance with, and offer guidance on, a range of areas including:

  • Postponed Import VAT Accounting (PIVA)
  • Duty Deferment Accounts (DDA)
  • Customs warehousing
  • Customs procedures
  • Outward processing/inward relief

VAT – EU/RoW Import and export

Since Brexit, the world of importing and exporting has become infinitely more relevant to UK businesses.  We can help you to understand how your business processes need to work in order to negate the impact of Brexit on you and your customers. We cover various aspects of import and export including:

  • Structure such as triangulation (NI only), drop-shipping and direct selling models
  • Commodity codes/Binding Tariff information submissions
  • Rules of Origin

VAT Enquiries with HMRC

HMRC continues to inquire into business records and VAT is no different.  After being contacted by HMRC, businesses will be required to send relevant records including copies of invoices, bank statements and annual accounts.

It is important to stay in control of the inspection. If you suspect there may be errors, Rayner Essex can review your data before it’s submitted. Sending the data to HMRC with full knowledge of the issues makes for an easier inspection process.

VAT Groups

For companies with common ownership and control, there may be scope to form a VAT group. Transactions between companies within a VAT group will not need to charge VAT to each other – improving cash flow and simplifying intercompany accounting.  

VAT groups can also be helpful with corporate groups who are partially exempt. It’s important to note that all members of the VAT group are jointly liable for VAT, so if one company is unable to pay their VAT liability, HMRC will seek payment from the VAT group as a whole.

Specialist schemes

There are many schemes offered by HMRC within the legislation, each having their own particular purpose and benefits/downsides.  For example

VAT consultancy

Corporate restructures, management buyouts, acquiring a competitor business, due diligence or Transfers of Going Concerns (ToGC), there are many aspects to VAT, many of which are not always considered until after the transaction has happened and by  then it could be too late.

As VAT is a transactional tax, it is best to consider the VAT implications before proceeding with a transaction, whether it is buying or selling a business or a property.  Intention/future plans are as important to the decision making process as VAT may be reclaimed on the basis of an intention today, that changes tomorrow. 

What type of businesses do we help with VAT?

You may be an established business and have your dedicated accountant, and simply require VAT advice, we are happy to help whatever your situation.


Sole traders




Limited companies


Start-up businesses


Small owner-managed businesses


Medium sized businesses, Corporates


Private clients and individuals



What are the unique benefits of working with Rayner Essex for VAT services?

Rayner Essex is a Partner and Director led, client-focused practice, providing our clients with the attention required and a strong emphasis on Availability, Service and Response. With over 50 years’ experience of working with corporates, SME’s and private individuals from various industry sectors, we deliver quality VAT, Tax, compliance, accounting and advisory services, offering extensive expertise and adding value to our clients.

We understand that all businesses are different, which is why we take time to get to know you personally.  We work closely with you to understand your aspirations and VAT obligations, so that we can deliver tailored solutions, ensuring your business is compliant on all levels, guiding you through your tax and VAT processes and offering you solutions you can trust.

Whether you have an ad hoc VAT requirement or are looking to change your Accounting and VAT advisory providers, at Rayner Essex we will offer you the attention to detail that you require, fully aligned with your business goals. Our VAT experts are here to assist you with any VAT services you may require.


Meet our VAT experts

If you want to find out more or to discuss your specific business requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Chartered accountants in London and St Albans accountants below will be happy to help.

Jason Croke


Contact Jason Croke

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