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VAT & Customs


VAT & Customs

Value added tax is one of the most complex tax regimes faced by business. It is all too easy to pay too much or too little. The consequences can be costly.

Harwood Hutton’s VAT team helps individuals and business leaders stay across the ever-changing rules that affect you as an individual and your business.

Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible personal or corporate position while staying fully compliant with the tax authorities and avoiding expensive penalties.

You will find our advice and our approach clear, commercial and practical. We will help you understand VAT and manage your VAT risk.


Seizing the opportunities for business

We can help mitigate the VAT liabilities at any and all stages of your business development, identifying cash-saving opportunities at home and abroad.

Experience counts when dealing with HMRC, and here we can call on an extensive back catalogue of successful dealings across a wide range of business sectors. Our expertise has often secured additional VAT benefits for our clients that previous advisers have failed to spot.

And with Brexit looming, we are ready to help guide you on the best way to comply with the new arrangements for imports and export and mitigate Customs and duty payments.


A strategic approach

It is not uncommon for an enquiry that starts in the realms of VAT to mushroom into something that embraces a broader tax perspective. Occasionally, it is the very fabric of the business that comes into question.

We can call on specialists to help plot the most efficient and most profitable path forward, one that embraces direct taxation, business structuring and funding options.



  • Land/property transactions including the option to tax
  • International supply chains
  • Charities and not-for-profit
  • Educational establishments
  • VAT registration and compliance
  • Partial exemption methods and solutions
  • Business restructures and disposals
  • VAT health checks and audits
  • Mitigation of penalties
  • Domestic UK VAT training
  • VAT advice





    VAT Expert Guide


    Our head of VAT & Customs Michael Ashdown is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, the leading professional body in the UK for advisers dealing with all aspects of taxation whose primary purpose is to promote education in taxation with a key aim of achieving a more efficient and less complex tax system for all.

    Property & VAT

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    Education & VAT

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    Charities & VAT

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    International & Customs

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    Professional Services Support

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    VAT Dispute Resolution

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    VAT & Medical Sector

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    VAT Training

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    Awards & Affiliations

    Client Testimonials
    • 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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