VAT registration becomes online only
We highlight changes to how businesses apply for VAT registration from mid-November.
Currently, most businesses have a choice about whether to apply for VAT registration online through the VAT Registration Service (VRS) or by post. HMRC provides instructions and a downloadable and printable form for those wanting to apply by post.
From mid-November this will all change. Anyone who can use the VRS to apply online will have to do so. The paper VAT 1 will still be available to those who are exempt but they will have to call the VAT helpline to request a paper form. HMRC may ask why a paper form is needed.
There are also some types of registration which cannot be carried out via VRS; we understand that HMRC will be publishing a list of these. In future these businesses will also need to call the VAT helpline to request a paper form. We understand HMRC is working on changes to the VRS to enable more of these excluded businesses to use it.
Agents should continue to use VRS through the Agent Services Account.
HMRC notes that over 95% of applications already use the VRS and it should be the quickest way to get registered. While there were long delays in processing registrations after the introduction of VRS, the position has considerably improved. Most registrations are now being processed within HMRC’s target 40 days (and often more quickly than this).
We would be interested in feedback from members about the new approach after mid-November – email email@example.com to tell us about your experience.
Let us know your views
ICAS responds to many tax calls for evidence and consultations, as well as producing tax policy papers and reports. We also regularly attend meetings with HMRC at which service levels, delays and other issues are discussed, and we raise problems being encountered by members. We welcome input from members to inform our work; email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your insights and feedback.