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VAT registration problems and ‘HMRC Top Tips’

Category Technical - TCN (archive)
AuthorTechnical Department
In view of the delays and problems arising in connection with VAT registrations, HMRC have issued a list of Top Tips for completing VAT registration application forms. The HMRC document is available at:

One of the main complaints about HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) service has been the delays that occur in processing VAT registrations. VAT registration can be considerably important to a business – large or small – since it can impact on all or some of the following:

  • The ability to issue tax invoices which may affect the payment of amounts due by debtors;
  • The ability to recover VAT incurred, particularly in start-up situations;
  • Administrative costs because documentation may need to be duplicated;
  • Dealing with businesses in other EU member states because a VAT registration is essential to ensure the correct accounting for VAT on despatches and acquisitions.

Statistics received from the Joint VAT Consultative Committee (JVCC) suggest that HMRC are gradually improving the turnaround of VAT registration applications. However, delays still occur.

HMRC have pointed out that a substantial number of delays arise because of the way in which applications for VAT registration (VAT 1s and in some cases VAT 68s) are completed by taxpayers or their agents or representatives. They have recently issued the attached document, setting out some basic tips in completing applications, which they hope will further improve turnarounds.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation, with other members of the JVCC, continues to monitor HMRC’s progress in this key area. Members who continue to encounter delays may wish to feed in information to the Technical Committee at with ‘VAT registration - FAO Maric Glaser’ in the subject line.

Technical Department
020 7235 9381


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