IFAs looking to bullet proof their advice against becoming liable for VAT should ensure their client contracts are carefully worded, according to platform provider FundsNetwork.
Paul Kennedy, head of tax planning at FundsNetwork, said recent changes to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) guidelines on VAT on advice meant it was important advisers demonstrated the intention to intermediate on a financial product in order to avoid VAT.
Speaking at the Personal Finance Society (PFS) conference Kennedy said: ‘Evidence is going to be really important in terms of determining VAT treatment and we don’t test it with hindsight, it’s about the intention of the parties, you [advisers] and the client, that you write at the outset.’
He added that analysis of a client’s pension arrangements was likely to be Vatable, unless the adviser goes on to find and arrange a more suitable policy.
Kennedy also warned that the move to adviser charging, particularly fees, could also have tax implications for advisers.
He said advisers needed to consider whether to use provider facilitated adviser charging or take a fee directly from the client depending on the product being sold
The tax treatment of collective investments and bonds still needed to be clarified by HMRC, he said.