When not to charge VAT

When a VAT registered business issues an invoice to their customer, they must ensure that they charge the correct rate of VAT. Whilst most businesses in the UK charge VAT at the standard rate of 20% there are a number of different VAT rates and exemptions to be aware of; this includes the reduced VAT rate of 5% and the positive zero rate (0%).

There are two other categories that the supplies of goods and services can fall under:

  • Exempt – where no VAT is charged on the supply. Examples of exempt items include the provision of insurance, postage stamps and health services provided by doctors. If a business only sells VAT-exempt goods and services, they cannot register for VAT.
  • Supplies that are 'outside the scope' of the UK VAT system altogether. These supplies are beyond the realm of the UK VAT system and you cannot charge or reclaim VAT on these supplies. Examples include goods or services you buy and use outside the EU, statutory fees – like the London congestion charge and goods you sell as part of a hobby.

If a business has made an error in charging VAT, then this needs to be corrected. The timing of finding an error can impact on how the issue is resolved.

There are also penalties if you charge VAT to your customers before you are officially registered. VAT registration is only required for eligible businesses earning more than £85,000 per year although businesses under the threshold can voluntarily apply for a VAT registration.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Wed, 19 May 2021 00:00:00 +0100

Latest articles

CGT during divorce or separation

If you are part of a couple that is about to separate or divorce, apart from the emotional stress, there are also tax issues that can have significant implications. Whilst this is unlikely to be uppermost in your mind it is important that the tax

Taxpayers who return to the UK

There are tax implications that you will need to consider if you previously left the UK to live abroad and are now either returning to live and work in the UK or are considering such a move.

In most cases, if you have returned to live in the UK you

Corporation Tax – marginal relief from 1 April 2023

The Corporation Tax main rate will increase to 25% from 1 April 2023 for companies with profits over £250,000. A Small Profits Rate (SPR) of 19% will also be introduced from the same date for companies with profits of up to £50,000 ensuring these

Claiming Child Trust Fund cash

HMRC has published their latest statistics on Child Trust Funds which reveal that whilst 320,000 accounts have now matured, 175,000 funds that have matured remain unclaimed.

If you turned 18 on or after 1 September 2020 there may be cash waiting for