Hi, I’m Ann Hughes aka The VAT Lady

I started my working life many years ago as an audit clerk, then worked my way up to be a tax accountant (income & corporate) and personal tax specialist. However, since 1993 I’ve predominantly specialised in indirect taxes: VAT & Customs duty as well as stamp duty at management and senior management level.

I even had a go at airline taxes! It was great joy for me to point out to a US treasury representative at the London embassy that their tax guide had not been updated to reflect that a rate of flying tax had changed. It was their fault that my employer had underpaid the taxes for a year, so although we paid up, there was no additional fine.

In 2008 I decided I wanted a change from working for one company and decided to work as a contractor helping various companies which I did for 2 years.

Then, in 2011, I launched The VAT Lady – a tax consultancy and training practice based on my 30 years experience working with accountants and international companies. I had a launch event which coincided with being a sponsor of the Brighton Business Curry Club.

I am one of a rare breed of tax specialists who has in-depth experience of VAT and Customs legislation and issues. This was all gained through many years working closely with international corporations who move goods all over the world and have the supply of inter-group cross-border services to sort out.

I now work with accountants and other tax professionals, enabling them to offer their clients the kind of specialist advice that was previously the sole preserve of highly-paid experts.

My employers have included Lloyds of London, Gillette, Philips Electronics, Caledonian Airlines and Christie’s International Auction House. Since 2009 I have contracted for Universal Pictures and the Cats Protection charity; both very exciting assignments (Brad Pitt and cute kittens!).

I bring this wide and varied experience to all my in-house advisory services, where I will review a business’ VAT & Customs compliance, then advise the owners and management on best practice and provide staff with any appropriate training.

If you have a tax question for which you have no answer, just ask me! Even if I can’t answer you myself, I guarantee I’ll know someone who does, even if it’s just providing confirmation that you are correct!