Tag Archives: Vat Registration

Starting a Business: online only

I got married a few months ago and I took on my husband’s surname. When I tried to change my name on my driving licence I was told I could not supply the information electronically but had to complete a paper form.

This may well be one of the last paper forms I submit to the government. 2013 has seen a huge number of changes to the way the government communicates with individuals and businesses. Many aspects of forming, and then reporting on the activities of a business have changed. Most paper forms and supporting documents have either been replaced with online equivalents or are now completely void.

The Government Gateway allows access to everything from personal details for council tax, to PAYE online for employers. Government bodies such as HMRC, DWP, DVLA, and the Environment Agency all require you to use a Government Gateway to access your information (though you still can’t change your name with the DVLA online).

This system, like any, comes with benefits and limitations. On the plus side, it reduces the amount of paper correspondence between individuals, businesses and agents with government authorities. On the down side, it takes two weeks for the Government Gateway login details to come through, delaying initial submissions and requests. This means that it can actually take longer to do things online, at least the first time you do them.

Whether you see the system as a more convenient way to communicate with the government, or a complicated way to access your own information, it is becoming necessary for almost all businesses to use it. Though the benefit of accessing your details in one area is clear, this web-based portal can be difficult to navigate if you’re new to it, introducing additional delays and obstacles to the process of starting a business.

Here are five ways the Government Gateway has changed the process of starting a business:

  • When HMRC have been advised by Companies House that a limited company has been formed, they will send a CT41G to the registered office address. The CT41 used to be a form to complete. Now it’s a letter which tells you your unique tax reference (UTR) number. It also tells you to register with the Government Gateway, so you can notify them that the company is active or dormant.
  • HMRC are encouraging businesses that need to (or want to) register for VAT, to do so online, though at the moment you are still able to complete the VAT registration on a paper form. However, even if you don’t use HMRC’s online services to register for VAT, you will still have to submit your VAT Returns online.
  • Almost all limited companies and organisations must submit their Company Tax Returns online. Also, any Corporation Tax that’s due has to be paid electronically.
  • Tax c calculations and, with very few exceptions, the accounts that form part of the Company Tax Return, must be submitted in Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) format online.
  • Most recently, HMRC have introduced Real Time Information (RTI) reporting. All PAYE registered businesses need to be RTI compliant and use HMRC approved software.

Following the UK 2011 Census, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) reported that the population of the UK was 63.2 million. They also reported that 77% of households had access to the internet., Starting a business is now incredibly difficult if you don’t have internet access. The 23% of households in the UK without internet are therefore automatically disadvantaged.

The Company Warehouse have a Government Gateway agent user ID which allows us to deal with the potentially complicated, time consuming tasks of communicating with government bodies on behalf of our customers. Call our Business Consultants now on 0800 0828 727 to find out we can form a Limited Company for free, register you for VAT and make RTI PAYE submissions on your behalf.

VAT Increase From 4th Jan 2011 – How Will It Affect You?

VAT RegistrationWith the election of the coalition Government and the budget that followed, a standard rate VAT increase was announced. From the 4th of January 2011 Value Added Tax will rise from 17.5% to 20% across the UK. There are no changes to zero-rates or reduced-rated VAT.

How will this impact your business?

How the change in VAT will impact your business will obviously be different for everyone, but there are various considerations.

Charging VAT

If your business turnover exceeds the VAT threshold (currently £70,000 across a 12 month period) then you will be expected to carry out a VAT registration and charge VAT on goods and services sold. From January 4th this will be 20% on most things (as long as they are standard rate products) and you will need to account for this in your pricing.

If your business involves selling to the public then you will be forced to charge more for your products and/or services or otherwise take a hit in profit. Most people will be expecting this increase, but you will still need to account for the state of the economy and monitor how your competitors are handling their pricing.

Selling business to business (B2B) is less of an issue – as other businesses can reclaim VAT from HMRC in the same way you can.

Pricelists and Invoices

An important part of coping with the VAT changes will be ensuring that your pricing is updated. This includes everywhere you might have prices that should include VAT – your website, your pricelist, your invoices, adverts and marketing materials and more. Most businesses usually exclude VAT from advertising for just this reason – as any changes can cause quite a headache.

The most important part is ensuring your VAT invoices correctly include the right amount of VAT. Even if you fail to charge 20% to your customers you will still be expected to pay the full amount to HMRC.

It is worth noting that for services started before 4th of January but finished afterwards you can still charge 17.5% for the work carried out beforehand.

Reclaiming VAT

You will still be able to reclaim VAT charged by your suppliers in the normal way, but take care to ensure the amounts charged are correct.

VAT Returns

After the 4th of January, you will still be expected to complete and submit VAT returns in the same way as before. The deadlines will remain the same. Remember our Accountancy Services can include help with your VAT returns if you so wish.

Further Reading:

The following articles may also be helpful for your business in dealing with the VAT rate changes.

Beware – HMRC E-mail Scams


Example heading from a HMRC Scam

HM Revenue & Customs have recently released an alert about a rise in the number of scams being conducted under their name. As you can see from the example pictured here, the scams are worryingly convincing. Some of them are presented in such a way that they seem like they are coming from directly from the HMRC. More worryingly, these scams even have the convincing e-mail address to go with them. It’s not hard to see why some people have been taken in. Example e-mail addresses include:

  • refunds@hmrc.gov.uk
  • attached.form@hmrc.attached.gov.uk
  • service@hmrc.gov.uk
  • customers@hmrc.gov.uk
  • hmrcrefunds@hmrc.gov.uk
  • taxcredits@hmrc.co.uk
  • notice-hm@hmrc.gov.uk
  • securemail@hmrc.gov.uk

You can see, at least a handful of them give the impression they are legitimate HMRC e-mail addresses. The HMRC are keen to make it clear that they would not send out such e-mails to inform customers of a tax rebate and stress that you should never follow a link contained within any such e-mail.

There are numerous scams being carried out at the moment, it’s worth taking a look at the HMRC security alert page for further information.

In the meantime, remember that TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk is a recognised and established agent for the HMRC. We carry out many PAYE registrations, VAT registrations and offer a fully managed payroll service for newly registered companies. We have plenty of experience of dealing with the HMRC and know how to act in a secure manner.


Example HMRC Scam form

40% of calls to HMRC Remain Unanswered


Recent research by the BBC shows that as many as 40% of calls placed to HMRC remain unanswered. People trying to contact Revenue and Customs for help and support are being left out in the cold. This is especially surprising and no doubt frustrating, considering the recent drive by HMRC to encourage more people to use their online and telephone based service rather than putting old fashioned pen to paper.

Some of these callers have no doubt been lost amongst the jargon and technical lingo used in the various forms and paperwork. This is in line with data given to us by the Head of HMRC who confirmed that for VAT registration alone, at least 30% of submissions carried out by an individual are rejected due to errors or omission.

This is why using an agent is the preferable method of dealing with HMRC in any matter. We provide PAYE registration, VAT registration and more. Being an agent, we already have a relationship with Revenue and Customs and an account, which allows quick and easy submission, with far less chance of rejection. For a low cost, professional service, choose TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk for all your business needs.

HMRC – Penalties For Failing To Notify

HMRCIn further steps to clamp down on tax avoidance, HM Revenue & Customs are planning to implement a penalties system for those who have failed to correctly notify them with regards to Tax or VAT. This will not only apply to those who are intentionally trying to avoid paying tax or VAT but also those who have been careless with their figures.


HMRC Failure To Notify Penalties

VAT Registration

vat-tax-deductableAs you may know, currently the law states that companies only need to register for VAT with the HMRC where their turnover is greater than £68,000 pa (£70,000 from 1 April 2010). Clearly there may be circumstances where a change in the success of the company means that the business quickly finds itself operating with a turnover near or at that level. Going over the limit means a company is required to register. In this situation, failure to do so within 30 days could now lead to a penalty. There are a number of benefits of voluntary VAT registration even when operating below this registration level. Clearly avoiding penalties is another good reason.

Using our online VAT Registration service means you can ensure that your company is properly registered with HMRC and our service is even tax deductible!

TAX Registration

Making sure your company is correctly registered for corporation tax is another essential part of working well with the HMRC. Avoiding penalties and paying what you are required, when necessary will mean you can run your company without hassle or worry. Because not everyone knows what is required in terms of corporation tax we provide an excellent accountancy service providing for your needs and helping you get on the right path.

PAYE Registration

Paying employees via PAYE is another area you may well interact with HMRC. Helping you to meet all the requirements placed on you, our Payroll Service not only helps you properly register, but provides for a number of other services with regards to paying employees. Easing the burden on you and allowing you to get on with the important business of running your company.

Being Tax Efficient

Remember that The Company Warehouse is here to help you get the most out of your new company. Setting up with us, means we can provide you with legal and tax advice to help you run a tax efficient business. Our recommended account – Pinnacle Accountancy, is there to help with a wealth of accountancy services. Meaning you can ensure your company functions within the boundaries of the law, avoids any unnecessary fines or penalties, but still retains a tax efficient nature.

Contact one of our business consultants today on 0800 0828 727 or follow the links in this article.

Compulsory Online VAT Registration?

Online VAT Registration

Following Lord Carter of Coles recommendation HM Revenue & Customs have agreed that all submissions related to Tax and VAT will be made online in the future. Statistics show a steady increase over the last few years in the number of VAT filings

(table taken from HMRC site)

HMRC have stated that from April 1st of this year, it will be a compulsory requirement on all businesses to file their VAT returns online. The Company Warehouse have been helping new companies with online VAT registration for a number of years. Our service is low cost and easy to use. We have an online account with HMRC which means that the process can be carried out swiftly and because we know what is required, no mistakes are made that might generally occur when an individual completes their own registration and thus delaying the process.

VAT Registration Problems and Issues

VAT registration problems and issues

There are quite often a number of problems that occur both before and after VAT registration which present issues for both the business concerned and the tax man. Firstly, a large number of VAT registration applications are rejected by HM Revenue & Customs due to incorrect or missing information on the relevant forms. If not immediately rejected, the application may instead be delayed as a request for the correct information is made by HMRC. At the time of this article TheCompanyWarehouse.Co.Uk understands that as many as 30% of applications made to HMRC are rejected due to missing information or because HMRC requires extra information in support of a question that has been answered.

VAT delays can have serious consequences for some forms of business. Smaller businesses may not be able to get their invoices paid without a VAT number in place. Similarly, legal requirements placed on property sales may mean that deals may fall through if a VAT registration is not complete in time.

Another significant problem is the timing of VAT registration. A businesses turnover must be closely monitored to ensure that registration is completed if necessary. The current VAT threshold was increased on the 1st of April 2010 to £70,000. A business needs to be sure that if they reach this figure, they carry out VAT registration. Quite commonly businesses leave it too late and as a result find themselves subject to late VAT registration penalties. These penalties rise, the longer VAT registration is delayed, whether the delay is intentional or accidental.

Beyond registration, the HMRC also apply Misdeclaration Penalties designed to encourage businesses to submit accurate VAT returns. You can see that the tax man is keen for people to act fairly when it comes to VAT and tax in general. People misleading intentionally and those who simply accidentally omit correct data are both subject to potential fines and legal action.

Here at TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk, we’ve dealt with thousands of VAT applications and are recognised as agents with HMRC. We can therefore submit an online VAT registration and act on your behalf. We know what is required for registration and can properly complete the relevant forms, ensuring correct and complete registration.

There are many problems and issues involved with VAT registration. The Company Warehouse have a product to solve this issues. Please take a look at our Online VAT Registration service for more information.

How to get a VAT Number.

VAT registrationIf you are selling goods or services in the UK you will be expected to charge your customers Value Added Tax (VAT). This then has to be paid to the government via HM Revenue & Customs. In order to do this you must register with HMRC and be assigned a VAT registration number. At The Company Warehouse we can make the process simple and hassle free. Our online vat registration service works for all UK businesses including Limited Companies, Sole Traders and Partnerships.

The VAT Rates

Running a business within the UK which is correctly registered for VAT, you will be expected to charge one rate of VAT or another depending on the goods or service you provide.

There are four rates of VAT:

  1. Standard – charged at 17.5% (20% from 4/1/2011)
  2. Reduced – 5%
  3. Zero Rated – 0%
  4. Exempt

Standard Rate

Due to the recent budget, the standard VAT rate will be 20% from January 2011. There will be no changes to reduced and standard rates of VAT. Changes are also being made by HMRC which mean that any company making more than £100,000 in annual turnover will have to file their VAT returns online from April next year. If you are worried about overlaps in VAT because of the way your business is run, HMRC has a brief guide to help businesses with the VAT changes.

As a VAT registered Company you will be expected to charge the standard rate of VAT for most of the services or goods you offer for sale unless they come under one of the other rates. This includes selling to staff, sale of company assets and other related sales. Between starting your business and registering for VAT you will still be expected to charge VAT and keep the appropriate records.

Reduced Rate

For certain goods or services provided by businesses, the government has deemed that a reduced rate of VAT will apply. For things like fuel supplies for domestic heating, children’s car seats, mobility aids for the elderly, products to help smokers quit (nicotine patches/gum), maternity pads and sanitary towels a reduced rate of 5% is to be charged instead of the standard rate. The HMRC VAT guide, gives a definitive list of which products/services apply to each rate of VAT.

Zero Rated

Some goods or services provided by businesses are deemed to be zero rated. This means that they are still technically chargeable for VAT but that rate is 0%. The list includes most foods, children’s books and clothing, advertising for charities, equipment for the blind and disabled people, aircraft and ship repair etc. If you provide goods or services in this area, you are required to declare the VAT even though it is charged at 0%. You may be able to recover VAT on services or products you have purchased in order to sell the zero rated goods or services.


Some goods and services are wholly exempt from VAT and as such should not be charged for and cannot be recovered either. These include things like education services, insurance, medical services, burial services, some charity events and related servers, betting, gambling and the lottery and antiques sold under certain circumstances.

Recovering VAT

When you register your business for VAT you will generally be able to recover any VAT you have paid for goods or services.  In order to reclaim VAT from HMRC you must keep a valid invoice and receipt for each item. You can then reclaim the relevant amounts of VAT you charged on purchases relating to your business activities. If, in carrying out your business, you provide a mixture of goods or services which fall under the different rates of VAT, you will have to consider this when it comes to reclaiming VAT. In order to recover the VAT, you will need to send a VAT return to the HMRC usually every three months.

Keeping your accounts in order is an important part of running your business. Our accountancy services are designed to help you with running your company successfully. Help from the professionals at low, competitive prices.