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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

Value Added Tax: introduction to VAT

Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced by the Finance Act 1972 and came into effect on 1 April 1973. The latest consolidated Act containing the legislation relating to VAT is the Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA 1994).

Questions of difficulty concerning VAT in relation to the calculation of trade profits should be referred to CTIS (Technical) in the usual way.

In general, VAT is imposed on the supply of goods and services in the UK by way of business. The definition of business includes a trade, profession or vocation but goes wider than this and includes the activities of clubs and recreational bodies and some of the activities of charities and non-profit-making bodies. It excludes an employee (except where the remuneration is chargeable to VAT under S94(4) VATA 1994).

As regards:

  • Subcontractors, see CISR15100 
  • Miscellaneous income, see BIM100125 
  • Management expenses, see CTM08580 
  • Employment income, see EIM15500 onwards
  • Capital allowances, see CA29230, CA45920 and CA60750.