VAT and other indirect taxes


We have extensive experience across the range of indirect tax matters, including value added tax and customs duties.

VAT is often considered to be merely a cash-flow cost for businesses, where the cost can be recovered or passed on to the ultimate consumer. However, it can become an absolute cost for certain businesses - particularly those involved in finance or insurance.

The VAT analysis of real estate transactions is particularly complex. They could result in a variety of tax treatments with radically different results, depending on the facts of the situation.

Careful thought and planning can avoid potential pitfalls and materially reduce the VAT risks associated with the types of business and transaction outlined above. We are well placed to advise our clients in relation to these matters. Our indirect tax advice also takes account of the direct tax and legal consequences of each structure or transaction.

Our VAT practice includes advising in relation to the VAT aspects of transactions such as the acquisition and disposal of business assets, including real estate, and structuring investments.

We regularly advise our clients on the VAT treatment of supplies of goods and services made across borders, both within and outside the EU.

We also advise on HMRC enquiries and tax authority and other disputes relating to the indirect tax treatment of transactions and structures.


  • "Macfarlanes LLP provides 'good client service' and 'understands the market'. It acts for a broad range of high-profile names..., and has strength in areas such as contentious VAT, private equity, real estate, and structuring investments to offset VAT exposure."

    The UK Legal 500 2011


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