Tax Advisory & Consulting
Legislation gets more complex and tax governance is a rising priority. The professionals are well equipped and experienced so that they can assist you to navigate through complex tax and accounting matters in Europe, as well as tailor a hands-on approach suited to your specific needs. The team consists of qualified tax advisers. Their ultimate goal is to provide the clients with the best possible solutions. The amavat® ‘Advisory Team’ is designed to meet clients business tax compliance and advisory needs. amavat® help them to meet their compliance responsibilities and to act on planning opportunities by using in-depth technical tax knowledge and broader understanding of how tax fits into the wider business picture.
amavat® tax advisory services include the following:
- Representing taxpayers before the fiscal authorities,
- Preparing tax opinions, procedures and ruling requests,
- Assistance during tax disputes and tax investigation,
- Representation during tax litigation,
- Cross-border VAT advice,
- VAT audits & tax authority negotiation.
Cross Border VAT Advice
If a business is selling goods or services cross border, and wants to trade successfully, it needs to thoroughly understand the VAT implications of its transactions.
The member firms of amavat® can provide advice to ensure that any VAT obligations are identified before activities start in a particular country. This is crucial if the company is to be fully compliant with its obligations in the country where it is doing business. We will need to consider registration for VAT where appropriate, and more generally verify that VAT is being accounted for in the correct way.
Though all member states have to base their domestic VAT legislation on the EU VAT directive, please click here for more information, there are many areas where discretion can be exercised. This means that the same transaction can be treated in different ways in different member states – it is essential that this is fully recognised and that specific advice is taken in each country.
Where VAT registration is required, the member firms of amavat® provides a one-stop-shop for registrations and returns in countries across the EU, and beyond. The consultant-led approach means that specific advice can be given to ensure that the right registrations are applied for at the right time. The ‘Compliance Team’ will then be able to provide updates that relate to the registration as and when they occur, as well as being on hand to deal with any questions you might have.
VAT Audits & Tax Authority Negotiation
Tax Authority VAT audits are carried out periodically at the discretion of the individual tax authorities.
It is crucial that tax authority audits are managed correctly in order to minimise the time and cost associated with the audit and also to ensure that the tax authority fully understands the business’s activities and how it is accounting for VAT.
amavat® can deal with the tax authorities on your behalf in order to successfully negotiate the audit. This can involve reviewing your VAT position, checking invoices issued and reviewing the calculations declared on VAT returns prior to the audit. Moreover, the dedicated team can review the correspondence and approach the authorities in the local language to quickly resolve the query.
VAT Dispute Resolution
International businesses often need to resolve issues with local tax authorities when trading cross-border. Issues may also arise with suppliers or customers.
Tax authorities are increasingly focusing on VAT due to budget deficits, so it is becoming more important than ever to ensure businesses understand and fulfil their obligations.
Disputes may arise for a number of reasons, and may depend on the nature of your business and the countries in which you are operating, but they may occur due to the following:
- Tax authority audits and historical liabilities,
- Rejected VAT claims,
- VAT treatment and liability issues,
- Penalties for non-compliance and errors in reporting,
- Incorrectly charged VAT by suppliers,
- Contractual obligations.
Experienced VAT professionals at amavat®, with local language capabilities, can help your business when negotiating with local tax authorities and third parties – the experience and knowledge of local regulations often speeds up negotiations, can resolve disputes, and helps ensure the most positive outcome.
VAT rules and regulations can be ambiguous and do not explain clearly how the law is applied in a particular situation. In addition, it is necessary to take into account how the law is applied from a practical perspective.
Consequently, it can often be necessary to contact the relevant local tax authority to agree on how to deal with VAT. Issues to be discussed may include what rate of VAT to charge for a particular product or service; whether an exemption applies; or clarification about the place of supply, and who has the obligation to account for the VAT due.
amavat® has obtained tax rulings for clients in a wide range of situations in multiple locations. These rulings have given the business confidence in how to account for VAT and can also lead to real savings: for example, through the application of reduced VAT rates. Rulings can provide certainty for clients, thus removing exposure to tax authority fines and penalties.
Where a business makes compliance or reporting errors, tax authorities can issue penalties and impose interest charges.
These penalties can be based on a percentage of the error or for a fixed amount and can be significant, often running into thousands of Euros. Some penalty assessments are automatically generated by the reporting systems used by the authorities when a return or payment is made late. In other cases, the penalties are issued by a tax officer who has reviewed the particular issue.
Many countries have a legal framework in place which systematically determines how penalties should be levied whilst others are taken on a case-by-case basis. It is important for businesses to be aware of the potential to mitigate penalties either through reviewing the position from a VAT-technical standpoint, or by being aware of the ways in which the local tax authorities operate.
The member firms of amavat® have successfully negotiated with tax authorities in many countries in order to mitigate penalties when clients have made errors on their VAT returns – or not registered for VAT at the correct time. The intervention has resulted in penalties being waived completely in many instances; whilst in other cases, work has resulted in significant reductions to fines. In all cases, we will work with the business on how to avoid repetitions of the error which triggered the penalty.