Tessa was referred to us from another property client of ours given our specialism in property.
Tessa operates a successful property investment and serviced accommodation business. Having undertaken all the management on her own properties and maximised the earning potential by carrying out room only lets, she saw an opportunity to take on other landlords properties and start a serviced accommodation business – also known in the industry as ‘rent to rent’.
With her attention to detail and knowing what the market wants, she grew turnover rapidly which meant that she was required to register for VAT having surpassed the threshold.
Tessa was trying to manage keeping her own books updated on Xero but found it took her so much time and was very stressful. It wasn’t something she enjoyed doing and took her away from focusing on what she was good at. In addition VAT was not something she had come across before (in her residential rentals) so it worried her that she would make a mistake and HMRC would hit her with penalties – or that she was not going to be able to maximise the VAT she could claim.
Tessa sought our assistance for us to take over management of her ‘finance function’ which was getting quite substantial. Income was being received from a variety of sources including portals such as booking.com, Airbnb etc.
The benefit of Xero is that we could get immediate access and start to help straight away. We set Tessa up with our paperless receipt capture tool (Auto-Entry) – to take the hassle and pain away from Tessa in recording all her expenses – and ensuring none are missed for tax and VAT claims.
Tessa mentioned that having had to become VAT registered, she was making less money (as she couldn’t increase her prices to pass on the VAT) and her cash flow was suffering. She had to charge VAT on all her sales but did not have that much input VAT (on expenses) to set against it as her main expense was rent paid to landlords (which does not carry VAT).
We discussed the possibility of her being able to maximise her VAT efficiency by using a specialist VAT scheme known as the TOMS (Tour Operators Margin Scheme). This meant that she could effectively treat the rent paid as a ‘vatable expense’ and only therefore pay VAT on the margin she earned.
This had a highly positive effect on her cash flow by reducing her VAT payments down by £2,700 on average.
I am so glad I don’t have to deal with all my financials anymore which used to really stress me out – I know that Walji’s have it in hand and are maximising the amount I can claim in tax and VAT. I can use the time saved to concentrate on managing and growing my business! I always get my queries answered promptly and know that I am in safe hands.