Tackling aggressive abuse of the VAT Flat Rate Scheme - technical note

This technical note advises on the new 16.5% VAT flat rate for businesses with limited costs which will take effect from 1 April 2017.



The VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) is a simplified accounting scheme for small businesses. Currently businesses determine which flat rate percentage to use by reference to their trade sector. From 1 April 2017, FRS businesses must also determine whether they meet the definition of a limited cost trader, which will be included in new legislation.

Businesses using the scheme, or thinking of joining the scheme, will need to decide whether they are a limited cost trader. For some businesses - for example, those who purchase no goods, or who make significant purchases of goods - this will be obvious. Other businesses will need to complete a simple test, using information they already hold, to work out whether they should use the new 16.5% rate.

Businesses using the FRS will be expected to ensure that, for each accounting period, they use the appropriate flat rate percentage.

Published 23 November 2016
Last updated 5 December 2016 + show all updates
  1. An examples section has been added to this technical note.

  2. First published.