Contractor help... please

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Blonde Accountant
Blonde Accountant Registered Posts: 86 Regular contributor ⭐
Hi, I have a client who recently took on a very short term contract with Hays. He has billed them with vat (he is a vat reg ltd co), but they have paid him excluding the vat. They won't pay the vat unles he gives them a copy of his vat certificate-which he has mislaid. They say that they need to see the effective date which would be on the certificate and they won't accept anything else. Has anyone else ever heard of sunch a thing before or are they trying it on.

Many thanks.

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  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    It really annoys me when big companies impose these procedures. I understand that they are protecting themselves against bogus VAT claims, but this is a little OTT. However, if your client has agreed to their terms and conditions and they clearly state this requirement, then he needs to comply.

    I am pretty sure you can request a copy VAT cert from HMRC. If you have any other official VAT correspondence from HMRC you can always try it. There are also websites that will check VAT numbers for validity if you think there is room for negotiation.
  • Blonde Accountant
    Blonde Accountant Registered Posts: 86 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Thanks Monsoon, I have tried giving them a letter from the vat office to my client with his vat number on it, but they are not budging.
  • Newbie
    Newbie Registered Posts: 229 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    You could offer for them to use the VAT validator online?
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon Registered Posts: 4,071 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    have you got a link Newbie? I've never seen a UK one
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654 Epic contributor 🐘
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  • Dcollins
    Dcollins Registered Posts: 179 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Monsoon wrote: »

    I am pretty sure you can request a copy VAT cert from HMRC. If you have any other official VAT correspondence from HMRC you can always try it.

    HMRC will re-issue VAT certificates on request - I did so for a client recently, and was on the phone to HMRC for less than 5 minutes!! Definitely a first.
    Monsoon wrote: »
    have you got a link Newbie? I've never seen a UK one

    We're in the EU, so the EU validator works for GB VAT numbers: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do?selectedLanguage=EN

    Hope that helps, it's not the first time I've heard of agencies doing this. Monsoon's right, it's very annoying. If they want a copy of the VAT cert. why not ask before any work is carried out?
  • payrollpro
    payrollpro Registered Posts: 427 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Hi everyone,

    Yes this is common problem and happens simply because they don't actually know how to deal with genuine traders and specialists. My experience was one where the VAT, despite Hay's getting the certificate four times (yes four!) took eight weeks to stump up the VAT.

    If your client can supply the certificate they will sort it out and pay the VAT but if they still get arsy about it threaten them with a money laundering report on the basis that unlawful manipulation of a tax is an MLR offence! It worked for me, sorted in just two days then!!!

    Payrollpro
  • Blonde Accountant
    Blonde Accountant Registered Posts: 86 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Thank-you everyone, they are still insisting on nothing but the certificate and my client is digging his heels in and saying that he shouldn't have to provide it. I might try the money laundering thing!!!
  • payrollpro
    payrollpro Registered Posts: 427 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Actually Hays are right in insisting on seeing a copy of the certificate as they are merely trying to comply with HMRC rules. This is common for self billing arrangements because the contractor is not issuing their own invoices, Hays construct the payment invoice instead and in order to comply they have to see the certificate.

    Yes it would be great if they would do that prior to the first timesheet being approved for payment but this is Hays we are talking about, they're not the sharpest tool in the box are they?

    Once your client has complied, come on he really ought to have the certificate to hand, and they still don't pay up then I'd try the MLR threat!

    Payrollpro
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