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Changing VAT Registration Details

There are several ways to make changes to a VAT-registered business. But, keeping the registration details up to date and accurate is a legal responsibility.

Hence, you must notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about a change to your address, bank account, or the registered trading details.

Change VAT Details: How to Inform HMRC?

You can tell HM Revenue and Customs about changes to business circumstances or VAT registration application, by:

If there is a change of partnership in your company, you must fill in and post the Government Form VAT2. Even so, some changes will result in you having to cancel VAT registration altogether.

You must inform HMRC about certain changes within thirty (30) days. Typical reasons for doing so, include:

Important: Failing to report changes to VAT registration details within thirty (30) days can result in financial penalties.

HMRC Change VAT Bank Details

You would need to inform HM Revenue and Customs at least fourteen (14) days in advance before changing your bank registration details. Remember to instruct the bank about the changes if you pay VAT by Direct Debit.

Inform the Annual Accounting Registration Unit (AARU) if you use the Annual Accounting Scheme. This cannot be done online. Write to the AARU and include your registration number and Direct Debit details.

HMRC AARU Address
BT VAT
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1WR

Note: It is best not to request a bank change within five (5) banking days either side of the VAT return date to avoid problems with payments.

VAT 484: Registering Death and Illness

You may become responsible for VAT payments if someone gets ill or dies. If so, you would need to notify HMRC within twenty one (21) days.

Fill in [HMRC VAT 484 form] to make changes to a VAT-registered business application (e.g. see section marked 'Any other changes').

Include either the date of the death or the start of the infirmity. You cannot do this online. So, you would need to post the form to HM Revenue and Customs.

Procedure for Cancelling VAT Registration

You must apply to HMRC for deregistration if you become ineligible for VAT Registration. As a rule, this applies if you calculate taxable turnover as being less than the threshold for deregistration (i.e. £83,000 for 2021).

Falling below the deregistration threshold triggers the VAT cancellation procedure. Other reasons you may need to cancel include:

How to Cancel VAT Registration

You can deregister for VAT (cancel registration) using one of two ways:

  1. Online (e.g. using your Government Gateway account).
  2. Fill in and post the VAT deregistration form (VAT7).

Important: You get thirty (30) days to cancel VAT with HM Revenue and Customs to avoid facing a financial penalty.

What Happens after VAT Cancellation?

As a rule, HMRC will reply within three (3) weeks after you apply for deregistration. They would then notify you about the official deregistration and the 'date of effect'.

The date of effect is the day that you voluntarily deregistered, or the day that you needed to do so (e.g. because you stopped trading).

The way you receive a notice of deregistration would depend on the application. Thus, HMRC would contact you via your online account if you made an online application, or by post if you sent in the VAT7 form by mail.

You must store VAT records for a period of at least six (6) years (no matter what the reason is for deregistering).

Note: HMRC re-register companies if they determine it should not have deregistered. Furthermore, you would be liable for any sales tax payments due between deregistration and re-registration.

Reclaiming VAT after Cancelling a Registration

You should submit a final VAT Return when you deregister and include the cancellation date. In most cases, you will be able to complete this process using your online account.

As a result, you would need to account for all business stock and any assets that you have on this date, such as if:

You can submit your final return before you receive all your invoices, and then reclaim value-added tax once you get them. HMRC will send you a paper version if you become insolvent and cancel the registration.

Transfer a VAT Registration

You can transfer VAT registration numbers between companies. An example could be if your business takes over another and you want to use their VAT registration.

To apply for this type of registration transfer, you would need to (either):

Note: Both companies would need to inform HM Revenue and Customs about the VAT registration transfer. You may need to set up new Direct Debits on your account. Remember that the transferring company may need to cancel theirs.

What Happens after a VAT Transfer?

As a rule, HMRC will reply within three (3) weeks of the application. The following steps may be necessary once they confirm the VAT registration transfer.

  1. Cancel the 'old' company accountant authorisation to handle official matters and access the account.
  2. Get the seller's VAT records (last 6 years) to transfer the registration number.
  3. Inform HMRC within twenty one (21) days that you wish to transfer the number from another company.

Note: Cancel any existing 'self-billing arrangements' and make new agreements as required. Furthermore, you should consider opening a Government Gateway account to register for VAT status from that point on.

Related Help Guides

Note: The short HMRC video [1:49 seconds] explains more about when you would need to register your business for value added tax (VAT).


How to Change VAT Address and Bank Details Online or by Post

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