What can Elysian Associates Offer to the Public Sector and Local Authorities in Particular?

VAT Helpline

Whether you have a specific question, want to brainstorm an issue, or just want some reassurance, we are here to help. We are happy to provide support by telephone, email or a combination of the two. The choice is yours.

While most queries can be answered immediately, where this is not possible we will guarantee to provide you an answer within 24 working hours of your call.

Where we give advice over the telephone, it is our policy to follow this up with written confirmation usually via email.

VAT Reviews

There are a number of reasons to undertake a VAT review. One of the most obvious is to ensure that you are maximising your VAT recovery and to identify opportunities for further VAT efficiencies. It is also important to identify and rectify potential problems before they escalate. Not least a VAT review can provide you with a degree of assurance that your VAT systems are working as they should.

We will work with you to identify the areas of greatest potential risk and benefit to ensure that the review is targeted in the most efficient way.

In addition we have the software to undertake a data review for any purpose. We are able to analyse large amounts of data not only for VAT purposes but for other more specific accounting purposes ie double payments etc.

Partial Exemption

Partial exemption is one of the most significant VAT issues affecting local authorities – Section 33 bodies. The calculation can be complex and time consuming, and there is the possibility of a significant financial cost should the de minimis limit be breached.

We have a thorough understanding of partial exemption issues as well as considerable experience of working with local authorities to devise and implement partial exemption methodologies. Our philosophy is that calculations should be no more complex than necessary to demonstrate that an authority is entitled to full input tax recovery.

We are happy to undertake annual partial exemption calculations on your behalf. We would also be happy to train Officers how to complete the calculation themselves.

Advice on Complex Transactions

It is no surprise that large, complex transactions tend to expose local authorities to considerable VAT risk. Such transactions include leisure developments, PPP/PFI projects, disposal of housing-stock, outsourcing and joint venture developments. With a raft of funding from different sources and an ever-growing list of central government initiatives every local authority is likely to be affected to some degree.

We can help you plan, structure and manage such transactions in the most VAT efficient manner. We are happy to work with all parties involved in the transaction to ensure the best possible outcome. Our service includes, where appropriate, an assessment of the impact of the transaction on your partial exemption position. This is, of course, taken into account when recommending the best course of action.


It is important to ensure that staff and Officers, having an involvement with VAT, either directly or indirectly, are equipped with the appropriate knowledge to assist them to function effectively. For example, those involved in decisions about capital expenditure need to be aware of the potential impact of a scheme on your partial exemption position. If nothing else, this will enable them to seek appropriate advice at an early stage.

Training can be targeted towards a particular sector or team. We have found that just making the legal department more VAT aware pays dividends when it comes to saving VAT costs.

Likewise, some basic VAT awareness training for those involved in invoice processing can lead to an improvement in the accuracy of VAT coding.

We are able to offer training to your staff at all levels. Like all the services we provide, training courses are tailored to meet the specific needs of your authority and your staff.

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