About VAT Claim Consulting

Robin Cunningham joined the former HM Customs & Excise in 1974 as a Customs Officer working on both anti-smuggling duties and freight clearance. Experience in both import and export freight movement gave a solid understanding of international trade issues. In time this experience led to frequent work as a trainer teaching both basic and advanced courses in anti-smuggling and in specialised freight clearance work.

The introduction of the European Single Market in 1992 and the subsequent run-down of intra-EU Customs work prompted a move to work in VAT and when the new VAT Overseas Repayment Unit was established in Londonderry Robin was one of the team involved in learning the new work and setting up the Unit. He then became one of the senior auditors reviewing large claims and supervising & mentoring junior staff.

Robin chose to specialise in the legal and technical aspects of the refund system and gained particular expertise in the eligibility of claimants to refund and in the Place of Supply regulations. For the last few years of his time in the Repayment Unit he headed the Enquiries and Audit Support section which researched and advised on technical issues for Unit managers and auditors as well as giving advice and information to the public.

Since taking retirement in 2007 Robin has kept busy as a consultant mainly to VAT reclaim agencies and other companies with an interest in VAT transactions across International frontiers. Robin frequently answers questions on the Place of Supply rules and the liability to register. Assistance in the recovery of tax incorrectly charged is also a frequent request. An intimate knowledge of official requirements and attitudes gives Robin a unique insight into the requirements for a successfull claim and his frequent successes in this field have resulted in steady repeat business from an established client base. Robin is a member of the International VAT Association and is a contributor at the Association conferences.

Comments from present clients:

"I am very happy that I have the opportunity to work with such an experienced, expeditious and honest tax advisor like you!"

"- - one of my best clients was rejected twice. Robin was able to assist in a most professional manner with the result that the account has been saved."

Some extracts from ORU reports:

"With a natural aptitude for policy/legislative research Robin is without doubt one of the most experienced technical officers in the ORU"

"consistently presents information in a clear, logical format using plain language"

"on numerous occasions instrumental in the drafting of Unit replies on complex issues to accountants, etc."


And from a frequent enquirer to the ORU on hearing that retirement was imminent:

"You are the most knowledgeable, co-operative, patient, experienced and helpful tax officer I have ever met. I and my colleagues regret that we will no longer be able to communicate with you."


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