Pre-registration Input VAT

Due to a lack of consistency regarding the treatment of pre-registration input VAT, HMRC have published a Revenue and Customs Brief clarifying their policy.

Any business that registers for UK VAT is able to recover input VAT incurred on goods and services prior to the businesses registration date provided they relate to the provision of onward taxable supplies. Regarding services, these must have been received within 6 months of the effective date of registration for input VAT deduction to be permitted, whereas for goods there is a 4 year time limit for deduction. Any goods that may qualify must be on hand at the time of input VAT recovery, i.e. they must not have been ‘consumed’, nor must they have been supplied onwards.


In the event that pre-registration input VAT has been recovered incorrectly, a 4 year time limit applies for the business to correct this error. This 4 year cap begins on the due date of the return on which VAT has been incorrectly recovered.


If you or one of your clients are unsure how to approach the recovery of pre-registration input VAT, or you believe that an error has been made in recovering VAT of this nature, please call our free helpline for specialist advice.


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