HMRC launches online tool to demonstrate impact of registering for VAT

Home » News » HMRC launches online tool to demonstrate impact of registering for VAT

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a digital guidance tool to help businesses decide if registering for VAT is right for them. 

The VAT Registration Estimator has been developed after feedback from small businesses suggested an online tool would be helpful to show when their turnover could require businesses to register for VAT and its effect on profits.

A business must register for VAT if:

  • Their total VAT taxable turnover for the previous 12 months is more than £90,000, known as the ‘VAT threshold’ – until 31 March 2024 this was £85,000. 
  • They expect their turnover to go over the £90,000 VAT threshold in the next 30 days.
  • They are an overseas business not based in the UK and supply goods or services to the UK (or expect to in the next 30 days) – regardless of VAT taxable turnover.

A VAT-registered business must charge VAT on eligible sales and can usually reclaim it on eligible purchases. There are around 300,000 new VAT registrations each year.

The estimator can help any business to see what registering for VAT could mean, as well as linking to further information about the registration process. HMRC says it is also a useful tool for businesses operating below the threshold and considering voluntary registration. 

Jonathan Athow, HMRC director general for customer strategy and tax design, said: “We know that the majority of our customers want to get their tax right. We have listened to what businesses have said and the new tool is designed to help them understand VAT registration, including when they might be required to register.

“We hope it will support businesses’ understanding of VAT registration, especially when combined with our guidance and other services.” 

Kevin Sefton, member of the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board (ABAB), adds:“Businesses need to know before they hit key tax thresholds. Tools and guidance can help them prepare. I’m pleased to see this new VAT registration tool from HMRC that helps a business understand the different types of supplies it makes, and what this means for VAT registration.”

To use the estimator, businesses will need know their business income and costs, and the VAT rates that apply to them. It is free to use and should take around 20 minutes to complete on first use. HMRC will not record the details inputted.

To access the VAT Registration Estimator click here.

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