Small businesses: When do you need to register for VAT?

Small businesses: When do you need to register for VAT?

It is compulsory for your business to register for VAT if your taxable turnover for 12 successive months surpasses the VAT registration threshold.

The VAT threshold is £85,000 currently and it will remain at this level until 2024.

You may need to register for VAT if you:

- Take over a business that is already registered and your taxable turnover for the previous 12 months plus the turnover of the business you’re purchasing is above the threshold

- Think your business’ turnover will exceed the threshold within 30 days but this normally won’t apply

If you do not register on time you could be charged with a late registration penalty.

Surcharges and interest are also common if your business has a VAT liability.

What about if my business doesn’t exceed the threshold?

You can decide to register for VAT even if your business does not exceed the threshold.

Typically businesses could choose to do this because:

-        A majority of your customers are VAT registered and are recovering their VAT charges so it will not affect your customers if you register.

-        You are in a refund position with HMRC so will benefit from registering for VAT.

You should consider your customers first and foremost when it comes to registering for VAT voluntarily.

If the majority of your customers consist of the general public then they will be unable to claim the charges back and the VAT will be an additional cost for them. Your customers could choose to go elsewhere to a competitor who is not VAT registered.

For advice on this, contact us today.