Find out how to sign up, manage your VAT account and submit returns.
Most VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 need to follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT. Check when to follow the rules.
If you’re an agent, the way you sign up your client’s business is different.
Before you start
If you do not use an agent, you must have compatible software before you sign up.
If you use an agent, you do not need compatible software. You can sign yourself up, or ask your agent to do this for you.
If you’ve opted out, you’ll need to contact HMRC to sign back up.
What you’ll need
You’ll need an email address for the business and:
- if you’re a sole trader - a National Insurance number
- if you’re a limited company or registered society - your company registration number and your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for Corporation Tax
- if you’re a limited partnership - your partnership’s company registration number, Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and postcode where you’re registered for Self Assessment
- if you’re a general partnership - your partnership’s Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and postcode where you’re registered for Self Assessment
You’ll also need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you sign up, using information from your VAT certificate and the last return you sent to HMRC.
Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.
After you’ve signed up
You’ll receive a confirmation email from email@example.com within 72 hours of signing up. If you do not receive it, check your spam folder. Do not submit a VAT Return until you receive a confirmation email.
You can still use your VAT online account to view deadlines, manage payments, print your VAT certificate and view completed VAT Returns.
Sending a VAT Return
Send your return using software. The deadlines and frequency of your VAT Returns and payments will not change.
Your software will confirm that HMRC has received your return, you will not receive confirmation from HMRC.
Paying by Direct Debit
If you already pay VAT by Direct Debit, you do not need to set a new one up. If you do not, you can set up a Direct Debit.
You’ll get an email and a message in your VAT online account at least 3 days before HMRC takes the payment from your account. If you’ve made any other payments to your VAT bill, your Direct Debit will be reduced.