Harwood Hutton is delighted to welcome Michael Ashdown as its new head of VAT and Indirect Taxes.
For the past 12 years Michael held a senior position at one of the UK’s Top 10 accountants, so his arrival marks a significant step in Harwood Hutton’s drive to broaden its offering to business leaders grappling with change in their marketplaces, whether induced by political events or general commercial pressures.
Throughout his career, Michael has worked extensively with owner-managed businesses, identifying growth opportunities for them and arranging refunds for overpayments. He has also undertaken a great deal of work with other professionals, as well as with a number of property and construction companies.
He sat on the Land & Property Liaison committee with HMRC and was involved in the discussions with HM Treasury that led to the new rules on VAT and Vouchers.
Michael has been involved with one of the large advertising and media organisations for a number of years, providing advice as well as regular updates for staff on indirect tax. He has worked with several clients involved in the international supply of goods and services, and he has recently been looking at the effect that the introduction of VAT in the Gulf region will have on storing and selling goods within that area. Michael is a Chartered Tax Adviser as well as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers.
“VAT can be a highly complex tax, especially in the property sector where similar transactions may have differing VAT liabilities, depending on the background and the facts,” says Michael. He flags up the impending launch of the Domestic Reverse Charge for Construction Services which will, he says, have a major effect on the way construction companies deal with VAT in the future.
In the international field, Michael says it may be necessary for firms to register for VAT if they make supplies to customers in a country, even if they do not have a permanent establishment there for direct tax purposes. “There are a number of interactions between VAT and Customs duty, and post Brexit, there may be further changes introduced to our VAT system,” says Michael.
John Brace, Managing Director of Harwood Hutton, said: “Mastery of VAT is essential for so many of our clients, so we are very pleased to welcome such a respected practitioner as Michael into our ranks. We expect Michael will be working very closely with our head of tax advisory Cormac Marum and with Ian Worth, who leads our Customs and International Trade section.”
I always get quick, clear and definitive responses from the Harwood Hutton tax team – commercial answers to commercial issues.Robin Berry – Morgan Management
Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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