VAT was once described as a simple tax, but in reality, VAT can be a complex area, with various requirements imposed by HMRC.

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Here at WR Partners, we can take away the uncertainty and worry by either compiling your VAT returns on your behalf from your business records or by reviewing the VAT returns that you have completed. We can also provide advice and guidance on a wide range of VAT topics or on how to structure your business to maximise your VAT efficiency.

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To help you stay on top of this and maintain precision, our expert accountants and tax advisors can compile and submit VAT returns on your behalf.

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VAT for businesses

VAT is a self-assessed tax. It is the responsibility of the VAT-registered business to submit their VAT returns with the correct information. However, it should be noted that HMRC operates a penalty system for when these returns are not accurate, so it’s important for businesses to take a thorough approach to recording and filing their VAT returns. To help you stay on top of this and maintain precision, our expert accountants and tax advisors can compile and submit VAT returns on your behalf. Or, for the more VAT-confident businesses, we can review returns that you have completed before they are submitted to HMRC.

VAT for individuals and the self-employed

Are you thinking about setting up your own business? Or, do you already run your own business? WR Partners can provide advice and guidance on the pros and cons of being VAT registered, the process of applying for VAT registration, and what is required by HMRC from VAT-registered businesses. We can also provide advice on a whole range of VAT-related topics including partial exemption and option to pting in to tax.

How We Can Help

At WR Partners, we can help you with a wide variety of VAT-related topics, including:

Our Services

  • Business VAT Review
  • Partial Exemption Review
  • Compilation of VAT Returns
  • Submission of VAT Returns
  • HMRC Liaison
  • VAT Advice


What VAT can I claim back?

As a VAT-registered business, you can recover the VAT that you have paid out on goods and expenses that directly relate to the taxable supplies made by your business. You must hold a valid VAT invoice to support each claim made.

Will the VAT threshold increase?

Since 01 April 2017, the VAT registration threshold has been £85,000, and the de-registration threshold £83,000. From 01 April 2024 the VAT registration threshold will increase to £90,000 and the VAT de-registration threshold will increase to £88,0000.

Are VAT and tax the same thing?

No, VAT (Value Added Tax) is just one of many taxes. VAT is a tax on purchases. It is charged by a VAT-registered business and paid by their customer. It is the responsibility of the VAT-registered business to declare the VAT on their supplies to HMRC. There are three different rates of VAT – standard-rated (20%), reduced-rated (5%) and zero-rated (0%). There are also supplies which are exempt from VAT or outside the scope of UK VAT. WR Partners can provide advice on the VAT liability which will apply to the supplies that you make.

Why is VAT important?

The VAT collected by HMRC is used by the government to pay for essential public services including health, social care and education. The VAT rules apply to everyone, you cannot ‘opt-out’ if your business trades above the VAT threshold. You can, however, ‘opt-in’, if you trade below the VAT threshold, and the supplies you make would be classed as taxable supplies.

There are some benefits to registering for VAT voluntarily. If you are interested in this area, WR Partners can provide advice and guidance.

Who are VAT exempt?

Certain supplies are classed as VAT-exempt. This means that VAT is not charged on these supplies, but it also means that VAT cannot be recovered on purchases made relating to these supplies. Examples of exempt supplies include domestic property rental, insurance, and financial services. Some businesses may make a mixture of taxable and exempt supplies. These are classed as ‘partially exempt’ businesses. They are required to undertake a partial exemption calculation each quarter to determine the level of input tax that they are entitled to recover from HMRC.

How do VAT refunds work?

Some businesses will be in a position where the level of input tax that they can recover from HMRC will be higher than the level of VAT that they must pay to HMRC on the supplies that they have made. This will often be the case for businesses who make zero-rated supplies, such as the sale of books or children’s clothes. This will also be the case when a business incurs expense on a one-off high-value item. In these situations, HMRC will make a payment to the business which is equal to the difference between the output tax they must pay and the input tax that they can recover.

How is VAT calculated?

VAT is calculated by multiplying the net sale price by the relevant VAT rate percentage (currently 20%, 5% or 0%). If an item is sold at a VAT-inclusive price, then the total cost of the item will be multiplied by the VAT fraction, either 1/6 (for 20% standard rated VAT) or 1/21 (for 5% reduced rated VAT). There is no VAT to calculate for zero-rated items.

Can I claim VAT back?

If you are a VAT-registered business, incurring expenses in making taxable supplies, you can claim the VAT element of these purchases back from HMRC on the condition that you hold a valid VAT invoice to support each claim. You cannot reclaim VAT on items purchased for personal use, or on items on which VAT was not charged.

How can I avoid paying tax?

If your taxable supplies are above the VAT threshold, you should not avoid registering for VAT and submitting VAT returns. However once you are VAT registered you will be able to benefit by reclaiming the VAT that you are charged on expenses relating to your taxable supplies from HMRC.

How often do I need to submit my VAT return?

VAT returns are generally submitted every quarter, although some businesses can opt to submit monthly VAT returns or annual VAT returns.

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