Introducing Lee Walters- Croner Taxwise’s newest VAT consultant
Life before Croner Taxwise
My first proper job was counting curtain poles into boxes for distribution to various retailers. After regularly miscounting I applied for a job at the Inland Revenue initially working on Self Assessment debt recovery and enforcing daily penalties for non-submission of returns. Predicting the future, I joined the newly formed HMRC and worked on a VAT team offering VAT advice to newly registered businesses. I quickly moved teams to Insolvency and then onto VAT Assurance where I specialised in analysing repayment returns. I was a VAT visiting officer for five years where I encountered a range of different businesses to check repayment returns for mainly SME’s. This could be through booked appointments, but also by unannounced visits to what was considered the riskiest of businesses. I was part of a Taskforce which was established to review particular trade sectors.
As a member of the restaurant’s taskforce, I used covert activities including test eats, monitoring the number of diners and paying for cash meals throughout the duration of various evenings to trace the meals purchased within the VAT transactions.
I have also undertaken VAT enquiries for famous actors and footballers although unfortunately, the celebrities in question were too busy and important to attend!
My previous roles leave me ideally placed to support and represent clients and to carry out negotiations with HMRC as I have experience from both sides to bring to the table and good up-to-date understanding of HMRC practices and procedures. You could call it inside knowledge!
Exposure to advice line team queries and cases consultancy colleagues are currently working on has helped me better understand the types of technical queries raised by our accountant clients. This has increased my awareness of the issues that cannot be answered using telephone advice, due to its complexity or where additional research is required or the volume of information means that written consultancy is the way forward.
Outside of work
I enjoy socialising with family and friends which is code for going out for food and drinks. When I am not doing that I am very keen West Bromwich Albion supporter and have a home and away season ticket. You could argue that you need a few drinks to watch it. I enjoy playing five a side football and running. My guilty secret is to relax by watching military documentaries and films!