Indirect Tax in the Financial Services Sector

Mazars has an established, international financial services practice and we work internationally to provide seamless, cross-border support to our clients – which include some of the world’s largest banking, asset management and insurance groups. The firm has a 100 year history in the insurance market and today we advise our clients on an ever changing and complex field of indirect tax.

Complexities in Financial Services VAT often centre on the application of VAT exemptions, as well as considerations around partial exemption and special methods. We also frequently consider the VAT implications of our clients’ international structures and cross-border arrangements. As part of our work we help our clients negotiate the raft of developing case law, taking a proactive approach to assessing the risk to our clients that has arisen out of recent European judgements.

For example, as it becomes increasingly apparent from cases like Aspiro SA that the UK’s insurance exemption is cast too widely we work with clients to help them understand what the risks are for their business going forwards and propose ways in which the costs of potential changes can be mitigated and the transition eased. Similarly, for our multinational Financial Services clients we consider whether the European decisions such as Skandia are likely to have significant consequences for their current structures and grouping arrangements.

We focus on working together with our clients, understanding their businesses and aims and adapting our services to fit each individual client’s needs. Below is a list of some of the services that Mazars offers to its Financial Services clients which have enabled us to deliver trusted and valued advice to businesses in the Financial Services sector:

  • Reviewing and negotiating partial exemption special methods with HMRC;
  • Reviewing draft agreements for new service offerings and presenting opinions on their VAT status;
  • Considering the strengths and weaknesses of clients’ current business structures and presenting ideas for improvement;
  • Performing VAT compliance and health check reviews;

Using our up to date knowledge of case law to comment on the risks and opportunities arising from the latest developments in the courts.