top of page

The Basics of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UK

Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax that is levied on the consumption of goods and services in the United Kingdom. It is one of the most significant sources of revenue for the government. UK VAT is charged at each stage of the supply chain, and businesses are responsible for collecting and remitting the tax to the government.

In the UK, VAT was introduced in 1973 as a means to replace the Purchase Tax. It is governed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which sets the rules and regulations surrounding VAT. The current standard rate of VAT in the UK is 20%, with reduced rates of 5% and 0% applicable to certain goods and services.

Most businesses in the UK are required to register for VAT if their taxable turnover exceeds a certain threshold. As of April 2022, this threshold is set at £85,000. However, businesses with a turnover below this threshold may voluntarily register for VAT to reclaim VAT on their purchases and appear more credible to customers.

Registered businesses are required to charge VAT on their taxable supplies, which includes the sale of goods and services. They must also keep accurate records of their sales and purchases, and submit VAT returns to HMRC periodically. This involves reporting the total amount of VAT charged and paid, and settling any outstanding VAT liability. You can learn how vat works in simple steps by following this link.

One of the key advantages of VAT is that it allows businesses to reclaim the VAT they have paid on their purchases (input tax), reducing their overall tax burden. This ensures that VAT is only paid on the value added at each stage of the supply chain, avoiding double taxation.

In conclusion, Value Added Tax (VAT) is an important component of the UK's tax system. It is a consumption tax imposed on the supply of goods and services. Understanding the basics of VAT is crucial for businesses operating in the UK to ensure compliance with the law and manage their tax obligations efficiently. Knowledge is power and so you would like to top up what you have learned in this article at:


bottom of page