Are you starting a business? We supply the lowdown on VAT in the UK and Ireland - how and when to register and who has to do it!
VAT? *yawn*... Many of us, particularly the more creative amongst us, probably feel the same when the whole matter of VAT rears its’ head. However whilst it may be deemed the “boring stuff”, if you are serious about business, it’s one of those things that has to be dealt with, like it or not. To help you out just a little bit, here are some of the basic things you need to know about VAT.
In the UK?
Who has to register? If you have a business and the turnover is more than the VAT threshold, you have to register. Since April 2014 that threshold has been £81,000 and this is likely to rise again at the beginning of the next tax year. Therefore if the value of what your business has sold over 12 months is greater than this, you have to register. If however your sales are below the threshold, you can still do a “Voluntary Registration”. Why? Well, if the majority of your sales are to VAT registered businesses, you may yourself be able to reclaim VAT on any business expenses you incur
When to register? Every month, you ought to be recording what your sales and potential taxable turnover is and obviously adding it up. As soon as your sales reach the threshold limit, you must apply for VAT registration within 30 days of the end of the month when this happened. If you reach the threshold before 12 months is up, don’t make the mistake of holding off - you could incur a penalty. Of course, as mentioned above, Voluntary Registration can be done before the threshold is reached.
How to register? There are several forms available on the HMRC site and depending on your business, one or more have to be completed and submitted for approval. VAT registration forms can be printed to complete manually or in many cases can be done online. When you do this, you’ll then be given a VAT registration number and a certificate. You can also use online accountancy services who can do it all for you.