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HMRC internal manual

VAT Assessments and Error Correction

General assessment procedures: Assessments to partnerships

Section 45(1) of the VAT Act 1994, enables a partnership to be registered in the name or trading style of the business rather than in the names of the individual partners.

A partnership may therefore choose to be registered as, ‘Mr Smith and Mr Jones, t/a The Ideal Restaurant’ or to register simply as ‘The Ideal Restaurant’.

In making and notifying an assessment to a partnership you will need to be aware of how the partnership is registered. Any assessments must be made and notified in the manner shown on the registration document, except in circumstances involving a change of partners.

Where partners are named on the registration document

If the composition of a partnership has changed during the period of time you wish to assess you will need to make a separate assessment for each composition of partners. This applies whether or not HMRC was notified of the change in partners at the correct time.

Such assessments may need to be notified by letter, rather than by using the form VAT641 process, where the registration details currently on file, i.e. the named partners, are not appropriate to the period being assessed

Where the partnership is registered in the name of the business

Where the partnership is only registered only in its trading style any former partners will be deemed served with an assessment as long as it is addressed to the trading name in which the partnership is registered.

The former partners will be jointly liable fir the periods that they were partners.

Under Sections 45(3) and 45(4) VAT Act 1994 any assessments made on a partnership registered in the name of the firm should be made and notified in the name in which the partnership is registered, irrespective of any change in partners.