In the UK, businesses can only charge their customers VAT if their business has been registered for VAT purposes with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
This is one of many rules governing the notoriously complex tax, which is arguably one of the most confusing there is.
This is why many business owners will run into complications when it comes to keeping on top of their VAT requirements and responsibilities and will want to seek advice.
Once registered, businesses must charge VAT on all of their applicable goods and services – but are also entitled to reclaim VAT on any business-related goods or services they might have purchased.
It is important for VAT-registered firms to keep extensive records, as such businesses are required to submit VAT returns to HMRC once every three months and might need to recover any overpaid or incorrectly charged VAT from previous periods each time.
Businesses also need to make sure VAT returns and payments are always processed in good time – as HMRC’s existing penalties regime can prove to be somewhat severe.
Making Tax Digital for VAT
To make things even more complicated, most businesses earning above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 will need to completely change the ways in which they report to HMRC from April 2019, due to the advent of Making Tax Digital (MTD).
MTD for VAT will see VAT-registered businesses required to report to HMRC on a quarterly basis using ‘designated software packages’.
This means that affected businesses will need to be up-to-speed with storing and processing their records and financial information online using MTD-friendly software.
Check out our helpful animation below:
At MJ Bushell, our specialists have the in-depth knowledge and practical experience required to deal with all aspects of the VAT regime.
To find out how we can support you with VAT services and help to save you time, money and tax, please contact us.