United Kingdom VAT Guide

  • 20% (Standard)
  • 5% (Reduced)


Value Added Tax (VAT)

UK VAT numbers have 11 characters (GB + 9 digits).

Monthly, Tri-Monthly or Annually

The company has to report its VAT position by filing periodical VAT returns on a tri-monthly basis (three months which do not necessarily correspond to a calendar quarter). The monthly reporting period can be opted for in case your company is regularly in a VAT receiving position. Opting for a yearly reporting period is also possible under conditions (VAT annual accounting scheme).

The company has to file periodical VAT returns before the 7th day of the second month following the tax period.

No carry-forward mechanism. The refund is done immediately by submitting the periodic VAT return.

The deadline when the payment should clear into UK Tax Authority’s (HMRC) bank account is usually the same as the deadline for the VAT return.

The company is not required to file any summarizing annual VAT return in the United Kingdom.

  • £1,500,000 (Arrivals)
  • £250,000 (Dispatches)

Postponed accounting via the VAT return is not possible in the United Kingdom. Deferred payment for VAT and customs is, however, possible under specific conditions.

The company is required to submit ESL for each calendar quarter (but may choose to submit monthly if you prefer) provided your intra-EU supplies of goods that have not exceeded GBP 35.000 within the current or four previous quarters. If the company exceeds the above threshold, you must submit the ESL on a monthly basis. The deadline for submitting ESL to UK Tax Authority (HMRC), for all frequencies of submissions is within 21 days of the end of the reporting period.

  • Importing goods into the UK from outside the European Union
  • Buying and selling goods in the UK
  • Selling goods from The UK which are delivered to customers outside of the UK (business or private customers)
  • Acquiring goods in the UK from another EU country (Intra-community acquisitions)
  • Holding inventory in the UK for sale, distribution or consignment
  • E-commerce sales of goods to consumers, subject to Distance Selling VAT registration thresholds
  • Organizing events in the UK where attendees or delegates must pay admission

First VAT Services

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