VAT specialist

About Peter Hughes

I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1997 with Malthouse & Company, a practice in Liverpool City Centre, and moved on in 1999 to work in property management. In January 2004 I started my own practice, initially in Birkenhead but then in York from 2008.

Many of my clients have been with me since the mid-2000s and value the personal and prompt service I offer, whether they need in house VAT training, a visit to discuss VAT issues or ad hoc advice over the telephone or by email. Any telephone advice I give is followed up within a short time by an emailed summary.

Unusually for a sole practitioner, my practice has an international aspect. I prepare UK VAT returns for businesses located in the USA and Turkey and often give UK businesses advice on supplying and purchasing goods or services to and from other countries. Since 2013 I have had a regular engagement to speak on European VAT issues at a course in Amsterdam, and I have also spoken on numerous occasions in Malta.

I have strong technical VAT knowledge in the fields of property and partial exemption and am a member of the VAT and Duties Sub-Committee of the ICAEW’s Tax Faculty. Clients often ask me questions about other taxes such as stamp duty and capital gains tax, as well as financial reporting, and I am always pleased to advise.

VAT Training Courses

If you have a number of staff who require training in VAT, I can come to your office and deliver a customised training course to you. There is no maximum or minimum number of staff. Features of the training include:

You choose the agenda. See the page on VAT training for the wide range of topics covered. I will discuss your exact requirements with you before the course, so that everything covered is relevant to your needs and nothing is superfluous.

Each person attending receives a copy of the slides and a comprehensive set of course notes.

I have presented approximately 700 training courses since 2004, and my strength lies in taking a complex subject and explaining it so that it becomes easily understandable.

Your questions are the most important part of the course. I take as much time as you need to answer your questions, and will also do so after the course if further questions arise. See the feedback comments below on my ability to provide in-depth answers.

Because I provide consultancy to a wide variety of businesses as well as training, my courses are illustrated with real-life examples.

Finally, my technical knowledge is sound and up-to-date (again, see the feedback comments below).

Training Course Customer Feedback

"Very clear and precise, all scenarios raised were answered in an understandable manner. Especially helpful for non-VAT people." (VAT)

"Very clear and precise, friendly, happy to answer questions." (VAT)

"Very useful day. Although difficult subject it was made very clear. Very well presented – he left time for questions to be asked however simple. Many thanks." (VAT)

"Peter was very thorough and tailored his answers to specific people’s requirements which was very helpful and an added touch." (VAT)

"Very good presenter, incredibly knowledgeable, provided good examples and able to answer all questions." (VAT)

"I would like to say that I really enjoyed your seminar; you made what one could imagine as being quite a boring subject into something very stimulating and interesting." (VAT)

Please contact me if you wish to discuss your requirements and obtain a quote.


I have had the pleasure of working with Peter for over 15 years now. I seek Peter’s advice mainly on matters relating to taxes – mainly but not limited to VAT, Corporation & Income tax – and any technical accounting issues. In many cases I find it incredibly helpful to know the answer before I approach auditors or group colleagues about a topic. And in other cases it is just comforting to get a second opinion, or a (much) more technical assessment of a situation.

Peter’s advice is always very comprehensive, and is provided quickly and at a fraction of the price other advisors seem to expect. I can honestly say that I don’t ever remember posing a question that Peter hasn’t been able to advise on. If he doesn’t know he will find out, either by personal investigation, or through an extensive network of contacts across many subject areas and countries.

I am happy to recommend Peter to you without any hesitation.

Ian Dodsworth, Finance Director, Kerry Logistics, Manchester

I have worked with Peter over the last six years for a range of complex VAT issues for my clients including charities, OMBs and individuals. Peter has a wealth of technical knowledge. His detailed advice and guidance has been invaluable in solving these issues both with confidence and in a timely manner.

Dione Hicks, DR Hicks Chartered Accountants, Bath

Peter is a rare and valuable creature - an independent accountant with a detailed knowledge of international VAT accountancy. Having struggled with VAT myself, and then searched for guidance from HMRC and through a more general accounting company, I was relieved to be referred to Peter. Peter knows international VAT. He's very thorough and he makes the time to help me to understand what I need to do to keep my VAT records and payments accurate and prompt. I recommend highly Peter's services and look forward to working with Peter as Layer123 expands into various European and international markets.

Rob Jones, Director, Layer123 Events & Training Ltd, London

The Community Furniture Stores have worked with Peter for a number of years. As three small charities with limited in-house capacity he’s been an invaluable extension to our team, helping us establish a robust record keeping system and using this to produce management reports, VAT returns and financial statements. He’s always willing to deal with financial queries and provide sound advice and guidance. His understanding of VAT is a particular strength given the potential minefield that this represents.

In the last year Peter supported us to migrate our finances to Xero, resulting in a simpler, more efficient record keeping system that provides us with greater insight into the financial situation of each store on an ongoing basis.

Andy Waites, Chief Officer, Community Furniture Store (York)

Peter has presented a number of in-house VAT training courses for Blick Rothenberg since 2014. I always appreciate his willingness to engage with attendees and answer questions. We are an accountancy practice with clients in multiple EU member states and have found Peter’s advice on cross-border supplies of goods and services invaluable.

Alex Altmann, Partner, Blick Rothenberg, London

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