Our team of specialist VAT lawyers have experience across the full range of indirect tax services, including VAT, customs duties, stamp taxes and the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED). With careful planning, we are able to avoid potential pitfalls and reduce the indirect tax risks for a variety of businesses and transactions.

Our work includes advising on the recovery of input tax, indirect tax issues affecting financing structures, VAT affecting property. We advise on a broad range of stamp tax issues (including SDLT planning and compliance, complex development arrangements, extraction of properties from SPV's and exchange of properties and in particular, issues surrounding the valuation of AHA protected tenancies).

Areas of focus

Our expertise in VAT, duties, stamp taxes and ATED includes the following:

  • VAT advice regarding registration, deregistration and compliance.
  • Advice to clients regarding the VAT penalty regimes and assistance with litigating default surcharges.
  • VAT advice generally, and in particular in the field of financial services and property.
  • VAT TOGC analysis, advice and drafting.
  • SDLT opinions across a broad range of commercial and residential property arrangement.
  • Application of multiple dwellings relief to SDLT, in particular with regard to student accommodation.
  • Application of the wait and see and contingency principles to stamp duties arising from the acquisition of shares.
  • Stamp duty reserve tax advice, generally, and in respect of rest in contract schemes.
  • Advice to individuals who are considering de-enveloping residential properties held in property SPVs in order to avoid ATED.
  • ATED advice both generally and as regards occupation by non qualifying individuals.
  • Advice to companies with a claw back of the benefits of reliefs against 15 per cent rate of SDLT.

Advice to Sceptre Services Limited and Blada Limited in connection with MTIC cases against HMRC, including conducting advocacy before the First Tier Tribunal.

Advising the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the VAT implications of restructuring its facility management services arrangements, worth £13 million per annum for the UK and Northern Europe.

Providing VAT advice to Intermedia UK Limited and its parent company Intermedia.net Inc on the provision of electronically supplied services from the UK and US worldwide in the wake of the new place of supply of services rules effective from 1 January 2010.

VAT advice regarding the application of the reverse charge to "advertising" services supplied to a UK financial services company by an associated overseas entity, and advice to a South African company about the VAT treatment of goods exported from the UK and the conditions for zero rating.

Advising on VAT issues for shooting clubs, including structuring the clubs to fall with the VAT exemption for non-profit making sporting clubs.

Advising a significant insurer on the correct rate of insurance premium tax to be charged in respect of car protection plan policies.

Advising a major importer of cosmetic products on a challenge to changes made to the customs tariff classification of its products, including a reference to the European Court of Justice.

Providing VAT advice in respect of the extent to which zero rating is available in the context of a reconstruction where the facade of an original property is retained but the requirement for its retention is implicit rather than explicit in the related planning permissions.

Providing advice to shareholders regarding a strategy to align payment of SDRT with payment of SDLT in a rest in contract CGT scheme.

Advising a number of clients on the SDLT implications of the recent changes to the exchange provisions.

Advice on the capital goods scheme in respect of the acquisition (by way of transfer of going concern) of a mainly commercial property containing a residential element.

Providing stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and VAT advice in relation to the development of a large shopping centre including the surrender and regrant of an existing lease and the carrying out of various development works.

Advising the Welsh Government on the Welsh equivalent of SDLT.

Assisting the UK Government to develop and implement the ATED.

Meet the team
Nigel Popplewell

Nigel Popplewell Partner

  • Corporate Tax
  • Tax
  • Real Estate Tax
John Barnett

John Barnett Partner

  • Head of Private Client Services
  • Head of Partnerships
  • Tax
Ian Carnochan

Ian Carnochan Partner

  • Tax
  • Corporate Tax
  • Real Estate Tax