Are you wondering how to register for VAT? If so, this brief guide will tell you when you need to register for VAT and how to do it.

Do I need to register for VAT?

If your business turnover for the last 12 months was over £85,000, you are obliged to register for VAT. Similarly, if you expect your turnover to exceed £85,000 in the next 30 days, you must register. In both of these instances, registering is a legal requirement.

I don’t meet the VAT threshold. Should I register?

If your turnover is under £85,000, you can voluntarily register for VAT.

While registering for VAT will mean you have to deal with more admin, there can be advantages. In particular, you can claim back VAT paid on the goods and services you buy. If you claim back more than you charge, then you will make a net gain. This can be a good option if you want to invest in expensive equipment, or you routinely claim back more VAT than you charge.

Other benefits to voluntary registration include improved cash flow. In addition, some businesses only want to work with VAT-registered firms. This can help you win new clients or customers.

If you’d like detailed advice on whether voluntary VAT registration would be beneficial to you, talk to one of our accountants.

How do I register for VAT?

Normally you register for VAT online. There is a link to HMRC’s registration system at the bottom of this page.

The information you need to provide differs depending on whether you are registering a limited company, a partnership or an individual.

If you have a limited company, you’ll need:

  • Its company registration number
  • Details of your business bank account
  • Your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
  • Details of your turnover
  • Information about your Self-Assessment, Corporation Tax and PAYE

If you are registering as a partnership or individual, you’ll need to supply these details:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • ID such as a passport or driving licence
  • Your bank details
  • Your UTR (if you have one)
  • Details of your turnover
  • Your Self-Assessment return, payslips and P60.

Do I have to register online?

In most cases, yes, you have to register for VAT online. In November 2023, HMRC removed the printable registration form from its website. HMRC lists the few types of organisation that can still register using a paper form on this page. You can also register by post if you can’t use the online service for reasons such as age, disability or religious grounds. If you want to register by post, you’ll need to call HMRC and speak to an advisor. If they agree you should register using a paper form, they will post one to you.

How do I deregister for VAT?

If your turnover drops below £85,000, you may wish to deregister for VAT. Similarly, if you find that voluntary registration has more drawbacks than benefits, you can apply to deregister.

To deregister for VAT, you can do it online. At the time of writing, you could also download a paper deregistration form which you can submit by post. If you want to deregister, head to this page to find out how.

It normally takes about three weeks for HMRC to confirm your deregistration. It will then provide you with an official cancellation date. You must stop charging VAT after this date. However, you may still be able to claim back VAT you paid while you were still registered.

Can you help me with VAT?

Yes. You can appoint THP as an agent authorised to handle your tax affairs. This allows us to submit your VAT returns and deal with HMRC on your behalf. If you’d like more information or advice about registering for VAT, get in touch today. One of our accountants would be delighted to help you.

Need further advice on any of the topics being discussed? Get in touch and see how we can help.

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    About Mark Ingle

    Owner-manager business specialist, Mark Ingle is key to building relationships with clients at the Chelmsford office. “I like to see clients enterprises grow and succeed.” Mark explains, “The team here has a lot to offer and I can see a lot of new businesses responding to that.”

    Having worked for accountancy practices in London and Essex, Mark has worked with a range of companies varying in size. For Mark, THP stands out for its “local firm approach with the resources of a larger practice.”

    Although a keen traveller, Mark is focused on giving his clients at THP the highest service, “Right now, I aim to help the clients we have to the best of my ability which will help me attract more of the right clients in the future.”

    Mark’s specialist skills:

    • Annual and Management Accounts
    • Tax and VAT
    • Strategy and Business Planning
    • Marketing and Sales
    • Business Development
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