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PKF International

A global family of legally independent firms

VAT, GST, Customs and Excise

VAT, GST, Customs and Excise

A response by many countries to the Global Financial Crisis was to increase the (already high) rates of VAT or GST in an effort to reduce Government budget deficits. Despite the economic recovery of the last few years, these rates have been maintained. Theoretically the "cost" of indirect taxes is borne only by the ultimate consumer of goods and services, and businesses therefore act merely as collection agents. In practice however compliance issues, an inefficient partial exemption method, incorrect VAT charging, cash-flow impact, and regulatory inconsistencies often prove expensive and inconvenient.

PKF is a global service provider and through its network of member firms it can provide complete global coverage and a complete range of VAT, GST, Customs and Excise services to fully meet your requirements. Our services include:

  • VAT and GST compliance out-sourcing.
    There are many differences in the details of the VAT or GST systems implemented around the world, but one thing they generally all have in common are severe penalties for non-compliance, even in cases of unintentional or mere clerical errors. If you do not have the resources or skills in-house to maintain an accurate and timely compliance function, you may wish to consider out-sourcing this to PKF.

    Our teams of experienced specialists can perform a complete range of indirect tax compliance services, including the preparation and submission of all returns and the maintenance of the appropriate documentary support.

  • Obtaining refunds.
    Although VAT and GST should not theoretically cost your business anything, there is often a significant cash flow impact when there are timing differences between the collection of output taxes on sales, and the offsetting of input taxes on purchases. Even greater impact can arise if you are an exporter, and therefore eligible for refunds of your input tax, or if you are making sizeable capital investments. Careful planning, and robust refund application procedures can significantly reduce the negative impact on your cash flow.
  • Understanding and applying exceptions and exemptions.
    Indirect taxes are simple in concept, but in many jurisdictions have been rendered complex by the introduction of a host of exceptions and exemptions. It is critical to understand the impact of these on your outputs (sales) and inputs (purchases) to ensure the accurate calculation, and reporting, of your indirect tax liability. If you have exempt (rather than zero-rated) outputs, your ability to take credit for all input tax is likely restricted. If you are "importing" services, are you required to self-assess?
  • Planning and compliance reviews.
    To help you identify potential problems, opportunities, or inefficiencies, PKF can review your VAT or GST, Customs and Excise systems and documentation, and identify opportunities for improvement in processes and cash flow, as well as potential areas of contention.

    Timing is an extremely important issue in indirect taxes. When does your liability arise? On delivery? On invoicing? On receiving payment? When is the Return due? What happens if you forget to claim an input item this month? Can you claim it in next month's Return? At PKF our specialists are extremely experienced and can advise on exactly what corrective action to take to rectify matters and minimise any consequences.

  • Representation.
    Whether you are in dispute with a tax authority, or in the process of claiming refunds, PKF specialists can help you ensure that your case or claim is professionally presented, technically sound, and properly supported in terms of documentation and evidence.
  • Indirect tax training.
    If you have the people resources for an effective compliance function, PKF can provide training to your teams to ensure that the skills, and up-to-date knowledge necessary for effective compliance are instilled and maintained.
  • Other Indirect Taxes.
    If your business is subject to other forms of indirect tax, such as Stamp Duty, Insurance Premium Tax, or Special Sales Taxes, our specialists can provide a similarly comprehensive range of compliance, training, and consulting services to assist you.

We would be delighted to discuss how we can help you and your company to reduce costs and manage your VAT, GST, Customs and Excise obligations more effectively. Please get in touch and contact PKF at indirecttaxes@pkf.com or alternatively, contact a local PKF firm directly for assistance: click here

For a copy of our 'Indirect Taxes' brochure: click here


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