Celebrating 20 Years of PSTAX

20 years PSTAX

A Legacy of Expertise, Trust, and Client Satisfaction

It is with great pride and excitement that we commemorate the 20th anniversary of PSTAX, the trading name of LAVAT Consulting. Two decades ago, our Managing Director of Strategy, Peter Gladdish, founded the company with a clear mission – to create a consultancy that sets new standards in the industry, one that he would be proud to work for as an employee and advise him as a client.

Today, we stand as a testament to that mission, having grown from a team of two consultants in our inaugural year to a dynamic workforce of over 25 dedicated experts offering specialised consultancy, tailored advice, and training to public sector bodies across Employment Taxes, VAT and indirect taxes, Land taxes (SDLT, LBTT, LTT), CIS, Corporation Tax, and customs duties.

From its inception, PSTAX has been deeply committed to serving the public sector, providing bespoke VAT consultancy services tailored to the unique needs of public bodies. Our evolution from LAVAT Consulting to PSTAX saw us welcome Managing Director Duncan Groves, enhancing our existing Employment Tax services and team and helping to create the holistic service we deliver today. More than 300 UK public bodies rely on our market-leading Employment Tax and VAT helpline services, such as local authorities, police forces, fire and rescue services, and the NHS. This widespread adoption is evidence of our unwavering dedication to the sector and the trust that our valued clients have placed in us.

PSTAX’s achievements

Throughout our journey, we have achieved many remarkable milestones that have shaped PSTAX into the trusted and innovative consultancy it is today. We’ve been running our Tax Forums since 2002, bringing together in-house tax practitioners from across the public sector to discuss emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities. Since then, we have organised over 40 in-person (latterly online) Tax Forums annually, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and providing an in-depth view for tax practitioners nationwide.

In 2009, we introduced our Helplines, the  PSTAX - helplinecornerstone of our commitment to providing unrivalled support and expertise to our clients. These helplines have since become the go-to resources for our clients, who submit over 4,000 tax queries annually. Our experts typically respond on the same day but always within the 24-hour response commitment.

PSTAX - Torquay

In 2010, we embarked on a new venture with the introduction of the Torquay week-long residential VAT training course. This immersive experience provides a unique opportunity for tax practitioners to engage in intensive learning, skill-building, and professional development while enjoying the benefits of a residential course in the attractive seaside resort.

 PSTAX ClubIn 2016, we introduced our flagship membership programme – PSTAX Club. This revolutionary subscription brings a wealth of benefits, including discounted consultancy rates, access to technical briefings, regular E-Alerts on taxation updates, and the opportunity to attend our Tax Forums.

LAVAT Consulting became PSTAX in 2018, recognising the growing need across the public sector for expertise in Employment Taxes as well as VAT. We expanded our capabilities and established the dedicated Employment Taxes team.

Our commitment to innovation and finding solutions for our clients led us to identify a little-recognised relief for local authorities in SDLT refund claims. Since 2021, we have worked closely with numerous authorities securing refunds of overpaid SDLT, some exceeding £2 million. This demonstrates our dedication to helping our clients maximise their financial resources by ensuring they receive the tax reliefs the legislation intends and that their systems and resources work efficiently to minimise unnecessary tax costs.

In 2021, we expanded our team into Scotland. This expansion further solidifies our national presence and strengthens our ability to provide localised expertise to clients across the UK.

Continuing our tradition of delivering creative taxation solutions, we introduced the market-leading  IR35/Off-Payroll Working e-Learning course in November 2021. This comprehensive course equips businesses and individuals with the knowledge and tools to navigate the intricacies of IR35 regulations effectively.

In May 2023, we unveiled our new website, reflecting our commitment to delivering our clients a seamless and user-friendly experience. This enhanced online presence allows us to better showcase our services, resources, and thought leadership, enabling clients to access the information they need easily.

Over the decades, we have also developed strategic partnerships with like-minded organisations, bringing additional specialisms to our clients, such as legal, corporation tax and customs duties. This allows us to give our clients wrap-around project support that offers significantly better value for money than Big Four alternatives.

Our team growth

At PSTAX, we believe that diversity and experience are paramount to providing comprehensive and holistic consultancy services. We take pride in our diverse team, which comprises professionals with backgrounds in local authorities, HMRC, and Big Four firms. This unique blend of knowledge and expertise allows us to offer a well-rounded and insightful approach to tackling complex tax challenges, ensuring our clients receive the most effective and innovative solutions.

Our flexible and supportive working culture is one of the cornerstones of our success over the years. Even before remote working became the norm, we embraced a home-working setup, recognising the importance of work-life balance and trust in empowering our team to thrive professionally and personally.

“As we celebrate 20 years of excellence, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our clients, partners, and dedicated team members who have contributed to our growth and success. We are excited about the future as we continue to innovate, expand our services, and empower our clients with the knowledge and support they need to navigate the ever-changing tax landscape for public sector bodies”.

Commented Managing Director of Strategy Peter Gladdish.

“Here’s to the next 20 years of PSTAX, where our unwavering commitment to expertise, trust, and client satisfaction will continue to drive us forward, setting new benchmarks in the world of public sector taxation consultancy”.

PSTAX 20th Anniversary Celebration

20 years PSTAX
Peter Gladdish

Written by Peter Gladdish

Peter has significant experience of advising local authorities on VAT issues. He spent the last 3 of his 9 years with Customs and Excise as policy adviser to Customs’ local authority VAT teams. Peter subsequently joined Ernst & Young’s public sector VAT team in 1997.

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