VAT: 9 key facts for UK companies

Guest post by Wendy Newton, VAT Specialist at Jordans


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a legal requirement for most business operating in the UK. However, depending on the size, nature of trading and annual revenue of the company, the requirements can vary.

The reporting requirements can sometimes seem daunting for new or smaller companies, and we’re often asked, “Do I need to complete VAT registration for my small business?”

To help make sense of the requirements, we have compiled key facts for UK companies to know based on recent VAT regulatory changes:

  • From 1 April 2015, the threshold for being required to register for VAT rose to £82,000 in sales in a twelve month period, up from £81,000.
  • You can choose to voluntarily register before reaching this threshold. You may find doing this beneficial if you are already incurring VAT on purchases you’ve made from suppliers for your business. If this is the case, you may be able to reclaim it if you are VAT registered. 
  • You can apply for registration online via the HMRC website.
  • Once registered, you’ll generally be required to submit a VAT return every quarter.
  • You'll have to submit your VAT returns online. HMRC no longer accepts paper returns.
  • Your VAT returns must be filed one month plus one week after the reporting period ends. For example, if the period ends 31 March, you must file by 7 May.
  • You’ll need to make payment of any VAT due to HMRC electronically by the filing deadline.
  • If you sell to customers in the EU, you may also be required to submit European Community Sales Lists (EC Sales List).
  • You may also appoint a VAT agent to act on your company’s behalf if the day-to-day needs of the business keep you extremely busy and even if just the idea of managing all of your VAT paperwork seems a bit daunting.

If your business would benefit from additional guidance on the latest VAT regulations or other company administration matters, you can contact the Jordans team of compliance specialists.


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