Over 95% of businesses, or their agents, already use HMRC’s online VAT registration service (VRS) to apply for VAT registration. HMRC wants to increase this further to speed up processing times for VAT registration applications. HMRC is therefore removing the paper VAT1 form to apply for VAT registration from gov.uk. in November 2023.
Some businesses will still need to apply by post, by using a paper VAT1 form. This includes taxpayers who are exempt from applying online. Businesses or agents who cannot apply online will be required to call the VAT helpline to ask for a VAT1 form. They will not have to apply for an exemption in advance, but HMRC will ask why they want to apply by post.
There are also specific types of registration that cannot use the VRS. A complete list of businesses this applies to is not currently available. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty understands it includes, but is not limited to:
- businesses applying for a ‘registration exception’;
- businesses joining the agricultural flat rate scheme;
- overseas partnerships; and
- entities (other than UK partnerships or non-established taxable persons) without a UTR.
Businesses in this position should also call the VAT helpline to ask for a VAT1 form. HMRC is working to add customer journeys for these types of business to its online VRS as quickly as possible. The paper form will no longer be available to these businesses once online registration becomes possible.
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