What is VAT and why you need an expert?

Value added tax in UK was first introduced in 1973, when you buy or bear an expense then you buy VAT on that and can be claimed back from HMRC. Similarly, when you sell a product to a client then you charge them VAT on that and that amount belongs to HMRC, You collect that amount on behalf of HMRC and then pay to tax authorities but obviously any input VAT will be cancelled out by output VAT and only remaining balance is paid or claimed back. VAT regulation seems straightforward but compliance can be a difficult maze and navigating through that maze can be devastating without the guidance and help of an expert. VAR tax regime consists of different rates for different products and industries and moreover there are several VAT schemes.

Why chose Businesswise Accountants for VAT?

We have a team of professionals who has vast industry experience by dealing with different types and schemes of VAT. These experts understand needs and requirements of every business and what type of software and approach will best fit for certain business. We aim to protect interests of our clients but also making sure that each client is compliant with requirements dished out by HMRC.

We provide best advice to all businesses on when to register for VAT, which scheme to choose and which software is suitable for your business to maintain the record for input and output VAT. It is obligatory for all businesses to register for VAT if they reach the threshold of 85000 in rolling 12 months.

VAT return submission:

Mostly companies are registered for quarterly VAT return submission and through standard rate VAT scheme. Our job is to delicately calculate output VAT and input VAT to file your VAT return. There are various VAT schemes like flat rate schemes and retail industry scheme, all this information hints lot of paperwork and careful handling and categorising of the data, but don’t you sweat a little. Businesswise is here to help you guide through every single step and help you execute your legal obligation.


If you supply goods or services to other businesses in European union country, then it is mandatory to file EC sales list to HMRC. We can help you compile the list from your accounts and submit on your behalf to HMRC.

Which VAT scheme and rate should you be applied to your products?

Vat is a complex tax regime and offer dynamic and variety of VAT schemes and also different rates applies to different products. Most businesses opt for standard rated scheme but flat rate scheme and retail industry schemes are also available depending on nature and type of business. It is duty of a qualified accountant to advise you on which scheme to choose and when to come out of that scheme. Different products are taxed at different rates and one must remember that one must not paint everything with same brush and charge same rate for all products. Most items are charged at standard rates but some items are charged at reduced rate like Children’s car seats, gas, heating oil & solid fuel, Mobility aids for the elderly and smoking cessation products. Some items are charged under reduced rate and zero rates, reduced rated items are Aircraft (sale/charter), bicycle & motorcycle helmets, Biscuits (not chocolate covered), books, maps & charts (not e-books), bread, rolls, baps & pitta bread, Brochures, leaflets & pamphlets, building services for disabled people, and certain food items are just few examples. Few services and products are totally exempted from VAT. Such diversity and complexity of compliance makes it even more important that this job should be done by an expert. Please contact Businesswise accountants before getting registered for VAT scheme, our experts will guide you and advise you on all the available options.

What if business circumstances see a change?

If you are registered for flat rate scheme but your revenue has increased, then after certain limit you may have to leave that scheme and opt for standard rate scheme, we help you choose a right scheme for your type of business and according to annual turnover. There may arise some situations where you can be allowed to de-register for VAT. For example, you have stopped making VAT taxable sales or your major chunk of sales is through zero rated sales then in such cases we can advise you when to get de-register and we do that for you on your behalf.

Which VAT services do we provide?

we provide variety of VAT services which include:

-Online VAT return submission

-VAT accounts reconciliation

        – External VAT audio compliance checks

     – VAT transactional advice and rulings 

-VAT investigation

     – VAT advice (property transactions)

-VAT compliance visit support

-In-house VAT training

                                                                     -VAT schemes advice (flat rate scheme, cash accounting scheme, second hands good scheme)

Why you should get register for VAT?

It is compulsory for businesses to get register for VAT once they reach the minimum threshold of £85,000 in sales revenue, or if you are expecting the sales to go over that limit in next 30 days. All sales revenue should be included in that except the VAT exempted sales. Compulsory registration is important because non-compliance can lead to penalty and also bring bad name for a business. Voluntary registration can enable a business to claim back the VAT they have paid on purchases and expenses incurred.

Expert opinion:

Complexity of VAT regulations and dynamic nature of its compliance requires that only qualified and competent person should be supervising this task. Accurate and true information is key to protection from HMRC inquiries in future. It is vital that you don’t pay less or more than what is required to pay towards HMRC. Tax authorities can open an investigation and even visit your business premises, so any business should always be prepared for that and accurate record keeping and compliance is way to go.