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How to avoid common VAT mistakes – and a large bill

Have you every wondered why when you go into certain coffee shops there are two prices for cakes, biscuits and croissants?  The reason is that the eat-in price is with VAT and the takeaway is without.  These are just one of the many issues that affect café and sandwich shop owners.

If you run a café or sandwich shop, HMRC VAT teams may well decide to investigate your business for a number of reasons.  Firstly, are you recording the correct level of take away sales for zero rating?  Quite a few businesses use fixed historical percentages which, in a lot of cases, are no longer relevant or accurate.  If the real percentage of takeaway is much lower than your businesses is using, there could be a large VAT bill to pay

You could also be opening yourself up to trouble if you don’t keep the all-important Z-slips after you cash up. Without them you will lack important evidence that all your sales have been declared, and if the VAT man decides to investigate his review will be all the more costly and time consuming.

Our VAT consultants have a lot of experience of advising cafes and sandwich shops  on VAT issues and can help you solve the regular problem areas. Why not get in touch and book an appointment with one now?

Avatar for Kirsty Demeza
About Kirsty Demeza

With a portfolio that ranges from startups to companies with a £10 million turnover, Kirsty’s talent for working closely with her clients ensures her services remain in strong demand.

“The most rewarding part of my role is seeing clients succeed,” she says. “When you help a new business and watch it expand into new premises and secure big contracts, it’s a great feeling.” Kirsty never finds two days are the same.

As well as providing accounting services that range from self-assessment tax planning and VAT to audit and accounts, she’s part of THP’s sales team and closely involved in helping our trainees to develop their skills.

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