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Once a company's annual sales revenue exceeds the £81,000 threshold, it is required to register with HM Revenue and Customs for Value Added Tax (VAT). The HMCE requirement is for a company to register for VAT if it expects the total sales revenue for the year to equal or go beyond the threshold amount.

Vat Centre offers online VAT registration service for only £50.

What is Value Added Tax (VAT)?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect form of tax charged on the sale of goods and services. This tax is also known as "goods and services tax" or GST in some countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand etc. An indirect tax is, when tax is collected from someone other than the person who actually bears the cost of the tax.

VAT was invented back in 1950s by Maurice Lauré, joint director of the French tax authority, the Direction générale des impôts, as taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA in French).

Businesses are entitled to recover VAT on goods and services that they buy to make further supplies and services sold to end-users directly or indirectly, but personal end-consumers of goods and services cannot claim back VAT on purchases. Thus, the total tax imposed at each stage in the economic chain of supply is a constant fraction of the value added by a business to its goods and businesses has to borne the cost of collecting the tax rather by the state.

Implementation of VAT has resulted in discouraging tax fraud and tax evasion.

There are two types of VAT:

  • Output VAT
  • Input VAT

OUTPUT VAT is charged by a business and is paid by its customers. (in this case it is, VAT on its output supplies).

INPUT VAT is paid by a business to another businesses on the supplies that it receives (in this case it is, VAT on its input supplies).

Generally a business is able to recover its input VAT to the extent that the input VAT is attributable to its taxable outputs. Input VAT is claimed by setting it against the output VAT for which the business is required to account to the government, or, if there is an excess, by claiming a repayment from the government.

VAT is a tax on the final consumption of certain goods and services. Our Introduction to VAT guide provides a summary of the basic principles of VAT. Business Briefs, Our Contact Us section includes information on
'Where to send your VAT forms or returns'.


VAT Info