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Posts archive for ‘VAT’


7th October 2013

VAT Registration

Filed Under: VAT


Not so long ago it used to be the case that a VAT registration for a new (or existing for that matter) business would take something like 8 – 12 weeks.  This could prove to be a real problem for businesses, particularly those that had been subject to a compulsory registration, due to the administrative difficulties of not having a VAT number.

It can sometimes be difficult to find praise for HMRC, however this is one area I now feel that they have now got right.  VAT registrations that are completed online are now normally completed within a week, often in only a few days.  This is a far cry from the old timetable we had to work to for paper registrations.

In addition to the quick turnaround time on registrations, HMRC now offer much more in terms of support and proactive advice for newly registered businesses.  HMRC will now send a number of emails to newly registered businesses, advising on file responsibilities, time scales and special schemes that might be helpful.

Overall it looks like HMRC have finally completed their move into the digital age as far as VAT in concerned and it’s about time!

Dan Hobbs
danhobbs@thlaccountancy.co.uk
01903 300230
 

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27th September 2013

VAT and Cafés

Filed Under: VAT


Recently I went to a Café to pick up a toasted Panini that I had ordered.  When paying for the Panini I was charged less than the advertised menu price, I was told it was because I was taking the Panini away to eat.  I later calculated how much of a discount I had been given and it equated to an amount equal to the VAT that would have been payable.  This could have been a coincidence but I do wonder if the Café had in fact not charged VAT on my lunch when in fact they should have.

It is easy to understand how the Café could have charged the wrong amount of VAT, the VAT rules around food can be quite complicated.  As a general rule anything that is supplied ‘hot’ (above ambient temperature) should be subject to VAT at the standard rate of 20%.  A lot of cold food supplied for takeaway can be zero-rated, effectively meaning no VAT is actually charged, although there are lots of exceptions to this rule.

I wonder how many Cafés and takeaway establishments there are that don’t totally understand the VAT rules and could be missing opportunities, or potentially not paying the VAT they should be.

Dan Hobbs
danhobbs@thlaccountancy.co.uk
01903 300230
 

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