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Tax – VAT

VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance

The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been narrowly interpreted. A disbursement is a payment that a business makes on behalf of its client and is outside the scope of VAT. The advantage is that many clients cannot reclaim VAT so not charging VAT to a client will keep their overall costs down.
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Refund entitlement – taxable amount not reduced

In their monthly VAT update, EY report on a case that will be interesting to lawyers as the facts involved an SDLT avoidance scheme (perhaps unsurprisingly, the four companies involved are in liquidation or administration). 
 
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VAT on professional fees - litigation

In its weekly VAT round up, EY comments on the FTT case which considered the deduction of VAT on professional fees in bringing litigation.

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Making Tax Digital – update

We reported in our March 2019 edition (p34) about the requirement for VAT registered businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) to keep records in digital form and file their return online. 
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LeO – VAT and costs information

We have reported above that LeO has issued updated costs guidance. Costs complaints often involve disputes above whether VAT was included in the price. The updated guidance states that VAT is often shown separately to the legal fees. It will help clients if the total figure is confirmed at the outset in the client care letter. If this figure is not clear to the client and a complaint is made, LeO is likely to find fault and would possibly hold the firm to the lower figure as this is the sum the client reasonably expected to pay for the service.

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VAT Order – construction services

The VAT (s55A) (Specified Services and Excepted Supplies) Order 2019 comes into effect in relation to supplies made on or after 1 October 2019.

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Making tax digital – VAT

Making tax digital for VAT requires VAT registered businesses with taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) to keep records in digital form and file their VAT returns using software which can keep and maintain the records specified in the regulations. 
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L&T – the basics

A summary of the basic rules on VAT and commercial property:

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Conveyancing searches – disbursements?

Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT?

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VAT and disbursements – Law Society guidance
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The Law Society has issued a detailed new practice note ‘VAT Treatment of Disbursements and Expenses’ (8 October 2019) following two recent cases in which the concept of disbursements has been... Read more...
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