VAT in the UK

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VAT in the UK is supervised by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), under the supervision of the Commissioners for the Revenue and Customs Act of 2005. Each year HMRC issues tax interpretations as published guidance and general VAT notices. Interpretations are intended to help taxpayers comply with regulations but are not legally binding. 

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK’s membership with the EU ended on 31 January 2020. During the “Brexit Transition Period”, the UK was already no longer involved in any EU Laws, and national UK law overpowered EU laws.  

UK VAT guide

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Scope of Taxation

In general, VAT is charged on taxable supplies, deemed supplies of goods and services, and imports. The UK VAT code specifically states that the following transactions are taxable: 


  • Supplies or deemed supplies of goods and services in the United Kingdom 
  • Imports made from outside the United Kingdom 

 However, there are also transactions defined neither as supplies of goods nor as supplies of services and these transactions do not fall within the scope of the UK VAT system.  


These are: 


  • Supplies exchanged among members of a “VAT group”. 
  • Transfer of a “going concern” business.
  • Certain supplies which are provided without charge. 
  • Minor outlays, such as charitable welfare services. 
  • Voluntary donations to charities. 
  • Public supplies such as public bridges and road tolls.

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UK –  General VAT information


National Legislation  HM Revenue and Customs 
VAT in local languages   Value-Added Tax  
VAT number format   GB+ 9 digits 
VAT rates  Standard 20%; Reduced 5% 
Zero-rated (0%) and exempt 
Frequency  Monthly, Quarterly, Annual 
Established  GBP 85,000 
Non-established  None 
Intra-Community supplies  None 
Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses  Yes 
Compliance Returns and Deadlines 


VAT Return  7th day of the month following the period end. 
European Sales Listing  Not required from 01 January 2021. 
Intrastat M  21st day of the month following the period end. 


Last Updated: 25/07/2022


The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax

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