Businesses with over £85,000 annual turnover must register for VAT in UK unless the business is exempt form becoming one. For full list of VAT exempt business please click here.
However, if you turnover if less than £85,000 you can still apply for VAT registration voluntarily and in many cases it’s worth going for it due to ability to claim input VAT back on your purchases. The request is not automatic and it is imperative to provide a file to the authorities. This request can take several weeks, or even months, which is why it is strongly recommended to proceed as quickly as possible once this is identified that your business will benefit from it . If you are unsure about the suitability, please contact our adviser today for an expert opinion.
The key points
- The standard VAT rate in force in UK is 20%
- VAT is a short of Value Added Tax.
- VAT registration can take up to 8 weeks.
Obtaining a VAT number in UK
Registering your business to receive a UK VAT number is possible – or made legally binding – under the following scenarios:
- Businesses with annual turnover exceed £ 85,000
- As a non-UK company whose import exceeds € 100,000 of goods and services in the United Kingdom.
- If you do not have local employees, you will also need a tax representative who can represent your company regarding VAT and all issues related to HMRC.
What We Need
For a successful registration, the UK HMRC tax authorities will need the following documents:
- A proof of all imports in the United Kingdom.
- In case there have been no imports into the UK so far, proof of your intention to import in the future is required (eg commercial material in English, contracts with customers and partners, leases for a production facility or offices, etc …)
- If you already have a business in a foreign country: the registration of the foreign tax and that of the foreign VAT.
- In addition, there may be several documents required by the HMRC as part of the registration process.
We at TTA will send you all requests and ask you to submit the required information again as soon as possible.
The Processing Time
As previously described, VAT registration requires a lot of patience on your part.Please allow between three to six months. Yes – it’s hard to understand! Apart from the inefficiency of the authorities, we can not offer you an explanation for this state of affairs.
Unfortunately, we have no influence on HMRC delays. Urgent requests are not possible. However, our experience has shown us in the past that companies that are already in business usually receive their VAT numbers faster. So, the more you can prove your business, the better.