Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Introduction: the purpose of this guidance

Guidance manuals are the main reference material for people in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The guidance is aimed at HMRC staff and should not be relied upon by businesses in calculating their taxes and duties.

Persons who are in business and are either making or intending to make:

  • taxable supplies
  • relevant EU acquisitions
  • distance sales, or
  • supplies of certain assets

may be liable or entitled to register for VAT. When a person registers, their details are held by HMRC in a record known as the VAT Register. When a person cancels their VAT registration, they become deregistered.

The purpose of this book is to provide you with the information you need to determine whether someone could, or should, be registered for VAT.

It will help you to identify:

  • the relevant law
  • the facts you may need to establish
  • any relevant legal tests and precedents
  • policy and agreements with trade organisations.

It comments on the relevant UK and EU legislation and includes references to important Tribunal, High Court and European Court of Justice decisions, which have either influenced or upheld policy.

Related public notices: Notice 700/1: should I be registered for VAT and Notice 700/41: late registration penalty.