Work and clients: Nancy's VAT advice covers both compliance and planning, mainly for businesses but also for private individuals. Her clients are from a variety of sectors such as land, property & construction, entertainment & media, and financial services. They include all sizes of business from start up, to those seeking a listing and PLCs.
She secures zero rating certificates for individuals which enable certain purchases of goods and services which would otherwise be subject to standard rate VAT to be zero rated. She also advises on reduced rates of VAT for construction services.
The route to Shipleys: Nancy has a degree in business studies and accounting from Edinburgh University. She began her career by joining HM Customs & Excise in the early 1980's. Based at a number of locations including Kennington VAT office and Southwark Excise in South London, the Solicitor’s Office in Central London, and the Accountant and Comptroller General’s office in Southend she worked as a management accountant, management consultant and also as part of a compliance team visiting local businesses. She then joined the BBC for some eight years where she had a combined VAT and tax compliance and advisory role, and also represented the Beeb at meetings of the European Broadcasting Union. Nancy joined Shipleys in 1999 and became a principal in 2008.
Memberships: CIMA, Fellow of The Association of Tax Technicians, CIOT (with BBC - not the VAT route) and a representative for the Association of Taxation Technicians on the EU VAT Forum.
Aim: "To help clients navigate the shark infested waters of VAT"
Most entertaining deal or case:
"Back in my Customs days I made disparaging comments about some art which was being sealed for export. I later realised the artist was Don Van Vliet - also known as Captain Beefheart, for those old enough to remember!"
"More recently I met with the accountant to a financial services business who needed some help with specialist VAT planning. I finished up taking afternoon tea with the business owners at their country estate. We had to wait at the gates to the estate for a plane to land on the runway in the garden!"
Proudest professional moments: "Seeing my book for sale on Amazon! Through a colleague's recommendation I was privileged to be asked by Lexis Nexis, publishers of the well known and highly regarded Tolleys books, to compile and edit their guide to VAT in the EU. With the generous assistance of others in AGN, the worldwide association of separate and independent accounting and consulting firms of which Shipleys is a UK member, I was able to pull together a tome of well over a thousand pages! The book is endorsed by The Institute of Indirect Taxation and also received a glowing review from a well known QC highly regarded in the industry."
What I like about my job: "Being able to explain VAT in words that clients can understand so that they can fulfil their compliance obligations and take advantage of planning opportunities. I like earning the trust of a client so that they contact me about VAT before getting into a muddle!"
Interests outside work: "Touring the US, admiring the stunning scenery and discovering the real America. I'm a keen follower of tennis and a non-playing member of the Lawn Tennis Association. I also enjoy knitting, crochet and making jewellery."