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How VAT Training can improve your business

Ryan Bevan 24 May 2016 No comments

Invest in VAT knowledge: Why VAT training is more important than ever

How much training and support on VAT matters is provided to staff in your business? The profile of VAT has been rising steadily in recent years and that trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Public interest in and media coverage of VAT/tax issues has increased significantly. HMRC is more vocal than ever about its ambitions to tackle aggressive tax planning and tax evasion and is devoting greater resources to the cause.

The pressure to be tax compliant and knowledgeable about tax risks is becoming increasingly important for businesses.

Factors contributing to this include:

Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) requirements

SAO legislation has been in place since 2009 and applies to large businesses with a turnover of more than £200 million and/or a balance sheet total of more than £2 billion. The main duty of an SAO is to take reasonable steps to ensure the company establishes and maintains appropriate tax accounting arrangements. HMRC have stated in their guidance that steps the SAO must take to be compliant include “Ensuring staff and businesses to whom work is outsourced are appropriately trained and qualified to undertake their functions.”

Increased board level and shareholder focus on tax matters

More boards and company shareholders now consider that being seen to be tax compliant and “paying their fair share of tax” is critical in terms of public reputation. Tax is often considered as part of the corporate social responsibility policy and appetite for risk is in some cases reducing. The outcome of OECD’S BEPs project has been a hot topic for many international businesses and BEPs is already exerting influence on global tax policy and legislation and will also have an impact on international trading models. As a result board level interest in tax issues is only going to increase.

HMRC proposals for large businesses

In a move to encourage higher levels of tax compliance and greater tax transparency by large businesses HMRC are proposing to introduce legislation requiring all large businesses to publish their tax strategy. A “Voluntary Code of Practice on Taxation for Large Business” is also proposed.


Due to a combination of the above factors the requirement to be tax compliant and have staff knowledgeable on tax obligations and risks will be greater than ever for businesses. The pressure to ensure appropriate tax and VAT training is provided to staff is going to increase.

VAT training will no longer be considered a luxury. Why not get ahead of the game now? Contact us to find out how we can help.