A day in the life of a VAT trainee - Reading
- Simran Dhaliwal
What is the name of your service line, which office(s) are you in, and when did you join?
I work in VAT which is Value Added Tax at the Reading Office and I joined in August 2017
What does your service line do?
Our service line ranges from offering services that include providing clients with VAT advice ranging from assisting clients with how to reclaim their input tax, from preparing and submitting their VAT returns or even advising clients on EU VAT refunds. We work with clients ranging from a number of industries such as food and beverage, not-for-profit, education, financial services and many more. We provide value to clients because we find the concealed pathways where there is scope for clients to save money and also help them gain recovery from their costs incurred. VAT is the third largest revenue generator for HMRC and the work that we do is essential.
What do you do in a typical day / week?
In a typical week I can find myself at a client dealing with VAT queries, preparing VAT returns or helping with VAT issues or queries that come through from clients.
What have you done in the last few days?
In the last few days I have been at a client discussing Grant Thornton’s new Making Tax Digital offering and how we can go about helping them with this new legislation that is to be effective from next year. I have also helped in writing a few VAT reports where we have debated some really interesting VAT queries our clients are facing and how we can argue their point to HMRC.
Which skills do you think are most important in your stream?
I think the most important skill to have if you want to work in VAT is to be quite analytical. As a lot of our job involves using tax legislation to identify available reliefs fir the client whilst ensuring they are compliant. It is about using the law and putting it into practice to deliver great client service. I think it would be helpful to be quite good with numbers and to be vigilant, as this could help when preparing VAT returns.
What kind of client contact have you had so far?
I have had a variety of different client experiences. So I have been out to a number of clients in the financial services industry, telecommunications, charities and councils just to name a few. These have all ranged from being out on site and a number of Skype conference calls.
Favourite part of the job so far?
Discovering something new every day. I think in VAT there will always be something that you will discover that you didn’t already know whether that is a new tax law change that has come into place, or a new way of doing something. As well as working within a really great, supportive team and atmosphere is a huge bonus.