Knowledge centre

VAT (Value Added Tax)

Explore all the courses, articles, resources and support Mercia can offer Accountants navigating the complex world of VAT.



Meet the team

Meet James Hurst

James is Mercia’s VAT trainer and consultant, specialising in VAT and indirect tax.

James began his career with HMRC before moving to the private sector in 1995 and gaining his CTA qualification. Using his specialist knowledge, James writes technical materials and delivers VAT training courses and topical VAT updates.


James Hurst Mercia Lines


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Articles & News

The implementation of the new MTD penalty regime for VAT

As the MTD project rolls on, HMRC have announced that, for VAT periods starting on or after 1 January 2023, the default surcharge will be replaced by new penalties if VAT returns or VAT payments are late.

Articles & News

Prepare for upcoming changes to VAT penalties

After a number of delays the new rules are to be implemented for VAT periods starting on or after 1 January 2023. The default surcharge will be replaced by new penalties if a VAT return is submitted late or VAT is paid late. There will also be changes to how VAT interest is calculated.

Articles & News

VAT - Business and Non-business Activities

HMRC have recently released Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2022): VAT - business and non-business activities. This Brief explained how HMRC now approaches determining whether or not an activity is a business activity for VAT purposes.

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Articles & News

VAT on low value imports in 2021 and beyond

A frequent grumble on social media is that overseas-based e-commerce websites are now charging significant tax and duty fees to British customers at the checkout process, even on orders costing as little as £3.50. Some members of the public are blaming Brexit, but that isn’t the case.

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Articles & News

The HMRC VAT Registration Helpline set to Close

HMRC has announced that it has closed its VAT registration helpline from 22 May 2023, giving only five days’ notice. This decision – communicated with very little advance warning - has only served to highlight ongoing frustrations with HMRC’s processing of new VAT registration applications.

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Articles & News

Changes To VAT Late Filing and Late Payment Penalties

HMRC continue to highlight recent changes to VAT late filing and late payment penalties for 2023.

Articles & News

VAT and Food Products

James Hurst explores recent VAT tribunal cases concerning the VAT treatment of food products and considers whether the law could be changed to reduce uncertainty in this area.

Articles & News

Recovering VAT on expenditure

Recent decisions of the Courts have highlighted how there is much more to the question ‘Can I recover this VAT?’ than merely being in possession of a VAT invoice from the supplier.




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