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HMRC internal manual

VAT Groups

Applications for VAT group treatment: time limit for refusal of VAT group registration applications

VAT Act 1994, section 43B(5) states that we may refuse an application for group registration, but only within the period of 90 days starting with the day on which the application was received. Where we decide to make further enquiries, legally the application is treated as granted, but if we then decide to refuse it, it is treated (retrospectively) as if it had never been granted (see VGROUPS04550). If we fail to complete our enquiries within this 90-day period, the application is treated as approved by default with effect from the application date (or whichever other date we then agree). Please note that, where we are considering an application for retrospection, the 90-day limit applies only from the date of receipt of the application.