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HMRC to extend new VAT registration services


Published: 01 Dec 2021 Update History

HMRC is extending its new VAT registration service for companies to all traders by the end of the year and to agents in early 2022. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty explains what it knows at this stage.

As part of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT project, HMRC has almost completed moving all VAT records from its old database (VMF) to a new platform (ETMP). Once this has been completed, agents will access all VAT services through their agent services account (ASA) rather than the old agent online services portal. With MTD VAT becoming mandatory for all traders from April 2022 (unless they qualify for the digital exclusion exemption), HMRC will remove references to MTD from the VAT content in the ASA, instead of simply labelling it as VAT.

HMRC has developed a new VAT registration service that has been live for UK companies handling their own registration since November 2020. HMRC is now testing the new service with sole traders and other entities. By the end of 2021, it expects to extend the new service to all traders needing to register for VAT.

HMRC will then work to extend the new service to agents. HMRC’s current plan is for agents to start using the new service in early 2022. Further details will be provided nearer the time. In the meantime, agents should continue to use the existing VAT registration service.

ICAEW members have reported that when they apply to register a client for VAT, the client receives an email from HMRC (noreply@vatreg.hmrc.gov.uk) along the following lines:

Subject: Transaction with HMRC reference XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Re transaction XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX in respect of VAT, please log on to the HMRC portal and access the communications area to check new information about this transaction. Use the same user id and password as you used to create the transaction.

This is causing confusion as the application was made by the agent rather than the client and the client may not even have a user ID. The Tax Faculty has raised this with HMRC. HMRC has confirmed that this confusing messaging will be resolved as part of the roll out of the new VAT registration service to agents. The VAT registration number is still sent to the client in a letter.

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