View our excellent testimonials below:

“During Ann’s 6 years as, firstly UK, then European Indirect Tax Manager with Christie’s, she introduced a VAT training programme for financial and non-financial staff, which significantly improved VAT efficiency.
Ann proved her knowledge of VAT and Customs issues as Christie’s representative at high level meetings with HMRC, ensuring that the art market protected its position where necessary in lobbying the Government on relevant tax issues.”

Adam Duncan, Christie’s Auction House

“The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening.  Our goal is to help people share a passion for plants, to encourage excellence in horticulture and inspire all those with an interest in gardening.

Therefore in order to attain the aims of the charity we must maximise our income.  One of the ways to do this is to examine our processes to ensure we are complying with tax legislation and making best use of tax reliefs and tax minimisation opportunities for Charities. Ann therefore at our request carried a VAT refresher session. This enabled the finance staff to update their VAT knowledge especially in connection with the new place of supply rules for services and through discussion, review procedures to take into consideration the new VAT rules.  Ann was also able to advise on the favourable taxation of linked or bundled products thus giving our members better value for money.”

With thanks again for a helpful day
Royal Horticultural Society

“When I worked with Ann, on a mutual client, I found her to be clear thinking and keen to understand all the relevant aspects of what we were doing and why. She then delivered the management of what appeared to be a large job which involved attention to detail and tenacity to see it through to the end.”

Graham Elliott: Hays Macintyre (Chartered Accountants)

“Ann was contracted to bring her considerable VAT knowledge and experience to Cats Protection in early 2010 as we commenced a substantial project reviewing the tax treatment of a major part of the charity’s work.  The project ran against a very tight schedule during which time Ann recruited and managed a new team, developed systems and  processes, and provided specialist VAT guidance to assess an enormous number of records gathered from across the charity.  Ann worked closely with the in-house finance team, volunteers across the charity, many of our suppliers, and a wider project team. Her friendly and practical approach enabled her to quickly build relationships which ensured the project ran smoothly from the initial set-up, delivery and handover once the project was complete.

Ann has an excellent specialist knowledge of VAT and can deliver this in a clear and practical way.  Her work for Cats Protection was invaluable.”

Richard Burgess-Gamble
Head of Finance, Cats Protection (Charity)

During the 3 years that Ann was the Philips UK Indirect Tax Manager she assisted with the integration of the single European customs clearance (SEA) and led the project for obtaining the supply chain Approved Economic Operator status for Philips UK thus enabling simplified import and export procedures for the movement of Philips goods.

She also worked very closely with her European colleagues to set up and train the Shared Service Centres in Poland and India and with her UK colleagues to ensure that the UK operations paid the correct amount of VAT and were VAT compliant

Hayden Vivash
Group CFO – UK, Ireland and South Africa
Philips Electronics UK Limited

Ann Hughes acted a couple of years for Philips as a country Trade & Customs manager in the UK. Is this role she was highly involved in the preparations for the AEO certification for Philips in the UK.
She had good contacts in the business and with Customs to finazalize the application. She has sufficient knowledge about the AEO legislation in order to train a group of people on this subject.
I was satisfied about her customs skills and the way she handled the customs issues in the UK.   
With kind regards,
Hans de Klerk
Senior Manager Trade & Customs EMEA
Philips Corporate Fiscal

“Ann has advised us on complex cross border VAT issues and given clear and concise advice on how to proceed.
This has enabled us to respond in a timely manner to our clients and set their mind at ease.”

Suzanne Craig
Partner Knill James (Chartered Accountants)

“Importing into the UK/EU our own products which we have manufactured abroad can be complex.  As well as the manufacturer’s cost we also have to take into consideration the cost of our own machinery located in the manufacturer’s premises, known as “tooling costs”.  For peace of mind we requested a review.  Ann looked at the purchase of the equipment, the manufacturer’s invoices and import documents and assured us that everything was in order. She was also able to point out that the import clearing agent was using an incorrect commodity code with a higher rate of Customs duty, thus saving us money.”

Stephen Woolmer
Managing Director
Brightwell Dispensers Ltd

“Many thanks for the Basic VAT course last week. It was really good to get an overall background to VAT. I also now have a better understanding of what makes up the figures on the vat return and understand better what we are allowed to claim vat back on.

These were my main queries when coming to you and I now feel less in the dark, thankyou.”

Natasha Slater-Bowen
Pura Aventura, (Active Holidays)

“Ann really knows her stuff when it comes to VAT – I came away from the course feeling much more confident about reclaiming the VAT that my clients are entitled to. The small group size meant that the course could be tailored to our individual requirements, and it was very useful to be able to pick Ann’s brains about specific issues. She is friendly and approachable, and it’s great to know that I can go back to her whenever I come across something I’m not sure about.”

Kate Brown
Stenson Office Services (Bookkeepers for the construction industry )

“I found the course excellent and very knowledgeable, It has come in very handy since the course I do have a better understanding now.

Many thanks for your time and patients, if I need to have further advice or a further VAT course I will come straight back to you.”

Anoushka Johnson
Purchase Ledger Clerk/ Accounts Assistant
CLSH Management Ltd (Property Investment)

“As a total newcomer to VAT, I would highly recommend The VAT Lady.  Ann Hughes delivers what could be a very dry subject in a friendly and informative manner, with lots of examples and at a pace to suit the audience.  I came away from the day with a much greater understanding of what we need to do.”

Maria Cox
General Manager
Minor Metals Trade Association (Subscriptions & Events)

“The Adur Outdoor Activity Centre, a charity, had an issue as to if it was legally required to be registered for VAT, or if not should be so registered. The Trustees asked me to investigate this to obtain a definitive answer, as previous answers were less than clear.

I was advised by my accountant to contact the VAT Lady, as this was a specialist field, which he had limited knowledge. Ann Hughes( THE VAT LADY) arranged to visit the centre, after having been provided with brief details of the finances of the centre, and was able to give a clear and understandable explanation of our position. Additionally advise was given on how to ensure that any future development should be handled with regards to the requirements of complying with VAT legislation.

The Centre is very grateful for the service provided by THE VAT LADY- Ann Hughes.”

John Haffenden (Charity Trustee)

“I attended ‘The VAT Lady’s’ course on VAT on services to the EU, after searching for a relevant course. I didn’t want a webinar or on-line course, but also wasn’t looking to pay a huge amount for an all day course that wasn’t applicable to my situation. I am a sole-trader bookkeeper who provides accounting and payroll services to clients in various lines of work. Ann was friendly, and very knowledgeable and able to explain the HMRC guidelines on this subject in ‘ordinary language’. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her, or to take another course should I need to!”

Judith Bannister (Owner)
Bannister Accounting Services

“Just a note to thank you for your efforts in resolving our problem with HMRC over the VAT issue regarding Negative Equity. Without your expert assistance I am sure we would still be arguing ( and losing ) the battle with them.

The issue was clearly complex and although I maintain we had done nothing wrong the way the legislation is written would appear to have caused us to incur a liability which I still maintain would have been totally inequitable.

As you know I am a qualified Chartered Accountant but my understanding of the regulations was not nearly good enough to put up a robust defense of our position. Your arrival on the scene was like the Calvary in a good cowboy film, timely and reassuring because without your expert advice I am sure we would have lost.

So in summary thank you for your assistance and if you need anyone to speak to me I would only too happy to recommend your services”.

Martin K Augier (Managing Director)
Maxmatt (Suzuki Brighton)

“Ann Hughes, The Vat Lady, quickly provided me with valuable advise on an obscure VAT issue. Clearly she knows her stuff and she certainly saved me a lot of time. It probably ensured that I didn’t get into difficulty with the HMRC at a later date. I readily recommend her for skill and knowledge.”

Mike Howell MBA FCCA
4Sight Management

“Thank you for your help with the VAT situation regarding listed buildings, I can’t tell you how much you’ve put my mind at rest.”

Julie Peck
Mullions Building Craftsman

“Ann is an expert in her field. Valuable experience and insight into all VAT issues. Always worth getting Ann in to save your company some money..”

Jacobie Van Hooft

Financial Controller

Camelia Botnar Foundation

Ask Ann a question
Name Email Question