Indirect Tax in the Local Authority Sector

Mazars has a growing and exciting indirect tax offering for Local Authorities. This is built upon our team’s extensive experience in practice, working within HMRC and in-house roles at Local Authorities. We provide a range indirect tax services and are passionate about working with local authority clients.

Indirect tax – particularly VAT – is highly complex and important to Local Authorities. Partial exemption is a paramount issue as well as the distinction between business and non-business activities. Given the breadth of constantly evolving activities that Local Authorities are typically involved in, the scope for error is significant and the financial impacts can be material.

As part of our work we take a proactive approach to addressing our clients’ needs. We have a wide range of service offerings but these can be broken down into two broad categories – risk management and cost reduction.

Risk management focuses on governance and risk for Local Authorities. We conduct VAT reviews, health checks and internal audit control reviews to give our client’s assurance about the processes they have in place and the tax treatment applied to particular risk areas. In addition, we offer training and support services (site visits and a helpline) so that our clients have ongoing support.  The intention is to minimise risk and potential errors.

Our cost reduction work is focussed around a tax savings review.  We have ideas unique to Mazars to identify areas where Local Authorities are under recovering or over declaring tax. A part of these reviews, where savings are identified, we guide clients through the disclosure process from start to finish and have a track record of securing significant repayments.

Our approach is collaborative, working with our clients, understanding their activities 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 Local Authority clients which have enables us to deliver trusted and valued advice and assistance:

  • Tax saving reviews;
  • VAT internal audit reviews – controls and processes focused;
  • VAT support services – a helpline service, regular meetings, reviews and training;
  • Indirect tax compliance and health check reviews;
  • Training for non-tax specialists – e.g. property teams; legal teams
  • Regular updates;
  • Support in negotiations with HMRC