Large Corporates. International Groups. Owner Managed Businesses. Charities. Not for Profits. Public Sector. 


VAT Advisory. VAT Compliance. Customs Duties. Excise Duties. Environmental Taxes. Aggregates Levy. Landfill Tax.  


Energy. Food and Drink. Property and Construction. Financial. Charities and Not for Profit. Public Sector. Education. 


Alistair is an Indirect Tax Partner and Head of our Customs team. He specialises in VAT advisory and compliance services and can advise you on a wide range of VAT matters; from registration, compliance, the liability of supplies and HMRC inspections.  

Based in our Aberdeen office, Alistair also advises on other indirect taxes, including Customs Duties, Excise Duties and Environmental Taxes such as Plastic Packaging Tax, Aggregates Levy and Landfill Tax. 


“I love the fact that my relationship with clients allows me to advise them on the indirect tax consequences of their business decisions and to support them throughout as they implement those decisions.

I really enjoy being able to support clients with everything from basic VAT compliance to really complex VAT situations both in the UK and globally. This full breadth of services from a specialist team can really help to take the pressure off clients. When a client treats me as an extension to their internal team is when I can give them the best advice possible.” 


“I am constantly looking at how we can streamline processes and how technology, including AI can help in the way we deliver services to clients in the future. Often changes in legislation, even the smallest changes can have a big impact on a client’s business. I love having the opportunity to work in a wide variety of sectors, because the constant changes in those sectors affect our advice and nothing is ever really standing still. 

One of the main challenges currently is the lack of resources in HMRC. This means that we are sometimes struggling to get quick outcomes for clients. Having experience of having worked in HMRC means that we are always there to support our clients in the best way and chase HMRC on their behalf. We place a lot of emphasis on communication with our clients, giving them updates and setting realistic expectations as far as HMRC are concerned.” 


“I like working with the public sector and the not-for-profit sector. For example, when we support a university or NHS Board, if we increase their VAT recovery, then that money will support their other activities; you feel like it’s benefiting society when advising them. With Charities and the Not-for-Profit sector, you’ve got that wider community benefit to what you’re doing as well.” 


“The Indirect Tax team work closely together to support all our clients. We also work with other AAB teams such as International Tax, Corporate Finance and Business Advisory.  

I really enjoy leading the team and keeping the team together has ensured consistency for clients. Using the unique strengths of different team members to solve each individual client’s problems is what I really enjoy about my leadership role. I think that I bring a calmness to the team and to interactions with clients. I have a willingness to roll my sleeves up, embrace complex problems and find a solution for the client.”  

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  1. Blog23rd Apr 2024

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    Potential VAT Refund Fraud – Are Your Bank Details Correct?

    We have been alerted to a number of cases where taxpayers’ bank account details have been amended without their knowledge.  This fraud involves the submission of a letter or form VAT 484 purporting to be from the taxpayer requesting that…

    By Alistair Duncan

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  2. Blog17th Aug 2023

    Alistair Duncan, Indirect Tax Partner, professional headshot

    VAT- A Guide For Sole Traders

    When many people think of VAT, they think of the extra charge on clothes, petrol and everyday items. However, those that are self-employed and/or run a business, may be required to get involved with VAT more than they would otherwise…

    By Alistair Duncan

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  3. Blog6th Feb 2023

    Alistair Duncan, Indirect Tax Partner, professional headshot

    A Golden Anniversary for the “Simple Tax”

    1973 was a momentous year! Starting on a Monday, 1973 kicked off with a “Long Haired Lover from Liverpool.”  In cinema, The Godfather won the Oscar for Best Picture.  Whilst in politics, Roe v Wade was decided by the Supreme…

    By Alistair Duncan

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  4. Blog8th Dec 2022

    Alistair Duncan, Indirect Tax Partner, professional headshot

    Say hello to HMRC’s new VAT penalty & interest rules

    The current default surcharge regime for VAT has often come in for criticism, with the penalties applied being disproportionate to the length of delay. From 1st January 2023, a new VAT penalty regime will replace the outgoing default surcharge system.…

    By Alistair Duncan

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