The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT is currently £85,000. Businesses with turnover below this level can also apply for a voluntary VAT registration.
Businesses charge VAT on their sales. This is known as output VAT and the sales are referred to as outputs. Similarly, VAT will be payable on most goods and services purchased by the business. This is known as input VAT.
The output VAT is collected from the customer by the business on behalf of HMRC and must be regularly paid over to HMRC. However, the input VAT suffered on most (but not all) goods and services purchased for the business can be deducted from the amount of output tax owed to HMRC.
If your input tax is greater than your output tax, HMRC will owe you a refund.
As a VAT-registered business you must:
- include VAT in the price of all goods and services at the correct rate;
- keep records of how much VAT you pay for things you buy for your business;
- account for VAT on any goods you import into the UK;
- report the amount of VAT you charged your customers and the amount of VAT you paid to other businesses by sending a VAT return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – usually every 3 months; and
- pay any VAT you owe to HMRC.