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HMRC issue tips on how to complete the VAT registration application form more effectively


Andrew Needham - Expert Author

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Andrew Needham, Director of VAT Solutions (UK) Ltd, highlights some useful HMRC guidance for businesses and their advisers when registering for VAT.


At the beginning of December 2007, HMRC posted the following guidance on its website in relation to the completion of VAT1 registration forms. Presumably, the tips are intended to work in tandem with HMRC’s ongoing drive to reduce the length of the much-publicised delays in the registration process.

Box 1 - status

Partnership: You will need to enclose VAT2 form with details (including the National Insurance number) and signature of each partner.

Limited Company: You must provide the company number and incorporation date. The date you are applying to be registered from must be after the incorporation date.

Box 5 - Business address/telephone number

This should be the address in the UK where the day to day running of the business is carried out. Other address - such as 'care/of', PO Box, an accountant’s address, or a non-UK address or telephone will be queried and this may delay your application.

Box 6 - Business activity

Please provide a full description of the business activity - for example 'wholesaler of fruit and vegetables' or 'management consultancy services'. Less clear descriptions such as ’wholesaler’ or ‘consultancy’ will be queried.

Box 7 - Associated companies

This must be completed if any of the partners or directors are currently, or have been in the last two years, involved in any other business. Full name(s) and VAT number(s) of those business(es) are required.

Box 8 - Bank account

If your bank account is still being set up, you should provide any evidence you have to support this - for example a copy of the application form or other correspondence with your bank. Please do not enter duplicate bank information of associated business(es).

Boxes 9 - 12 - Transfer of a Going Concern

If you are taking over (or about to take over) a business as a going concern you must complete boxes 9-12. To use the previous owner’s VAT Registration Number also complete and send Form VAT68 (taking over a previous owner’s VAT Registration number may not be sensible for your business so ensure you understand the implications and/or take advice on this before deciding).

Box 13 - Registering on a voluntary basis (i.e. relevant turnover is below registration limit)

Please tick the appropriate box and specify the date you want to be registered from in box 13 only - do not complete boxes 14 or 15.

Boxes 14 and 15 - Compulsory registration (i.e. relevant turnover above registration limit)

You will need to complete either question 14 or 15. Please identify which question applies (check with the guidance notes) and answer that question only.

Box 19 - Estimated turnover of taxable supplies

This box must be completed - please use your best judgment to make an estimate. Leaving the box blank will cause queries and delays.

Boxes 20 – 21 Exempt and EU supplies

You must tick either the 'yes' or the 'no' boxes for these questions - and provide the estimated amounts if you answer 'yes' to the EU questions. The guidance notes (with the VAT 1 form) will help you identify exempt supplies.

Boxes 22 and 23 - Details and declaration

These boxes must be completed by the appropriate person. The necessary details (name, address etc) of the person must be given. The signatory must say in what capacity they are signing - for example as sole proprietor or as director or as a partner. Leaving boxes blank will cause queries and delays.

About the Author

Andrew Needham is a Director of VAT Specialists Limited, headed by Chartered Tax Adviser Andrew Needham who has a degree in Law from UCNW Bangor and is a specialist in indirect taxes.  Andrew has over 20 years experience in VAT having spent 7 years in HM Customs & Excise, firstly as a VAT inspector, then as a departmental trainer, and finally in a headquarters policy unit dealing with the introduction of the EU single market.

VAT Specialists Limited, 31 Bisham Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1XH - T)01928 571207 F) 01928 571202 Mob ) 07810 433 926

(E) Andrew Needham BA CTA
(T) 01928 571207
(F) 01928 571202
(M) 07810 433 926

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-03-19 13:15:07 in Tax Articles

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