VAT Registration Transformation (VRT) is a user-friendly online service which the majority of customers can use to apply to register, de-register, transfer a going concern, or inform us of variations to their registration details. It replaced the previous online registration services. VRT was first introduced in October 2012, with additional functions coming on line in December 2012 and April 2013. VRT is part of ‘One Click’, adding VAT to an HMRC online tax registration service for customers which was introduced in April 2012. Use of VRT is not mandated: businesses which prefer to do so may still submit their applications in hard copy.
VRT strengthens our security with the introduction of an automated risk assessment process. This verifies that the customer is legitimate, and assesses the potential risk of fraud. VRT has also implemented a business rules engine which can make eligibility determinations so that non-complex, low risk applications can be automated without any need for manual intervention. The outcomes from the business rules and the risk assessment results in the application to register being allocated into one of three categories:
- low risk/non-complex - these applications are processed automatically with no manual involvement
- complex but low risk - these applications are referred to BT Ops for manual review
- suspect/potentially fraudulent - these applications are referred to the National Pre-Registration Intelligence Team (NPRIT) in RIS or to SI for further investigation.
Benefits for businesses
- Faster/ more successful applications for the vast majority of businesses, along with earlier notification of their VAT registration number, and the facility to print off their VAT certificate of registration.
- An online secure message facility for customers who apply through the online service.
- The facility to view and print their VAT certificate of registration online.
- Automatic sign up to the system for online submission of VAT returns.
- Links to the online registration service for the direct business taxes on business, allowing the business to register online for those taxes, and achieve automatic sign up for the online services relating to them, quickly.
- A faster and more convenient method of letting us know about variations.
- The trader can set up a ‘delegate’ who can review and/or change the information he has entered before he submits the registration. The delegate might be a friend or colleague, or could be an accountant or other professional adviser. Information does not have to be entered all at once: it can be saved and the application returned to for completion at a later date.
Government Departments and NHS Trusts are not able to use VRT.
Additionally, VRT can’t be used for:
- applications to register with regard to distance sales
- applications to register with regard to relevant acquisitions
- applications to register with regard to relevant supplies
- applications to join the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme
- liable no longer liable cases
- applications to create or amend existing VAT Divisions
- applications to use Non Standard Tax Periods.
Agents can use VRT to apply to register on behalf of their clients, although neither they nor their client will be automatically signed up for the online service which enables VAT returns to be submitted electronically.
Even if they hold a Form 64-8, agents can’t notify an option to tax on their client’s behalf. A separate letter of authority from the business is still required.
Agents can’t use VRT to notify us of changes to a business’s principal place of business or bank details.
An insolvency practitioner who is required to register a former subsidiary of a VAT group can use VRT to do so.
If the business is subject to a Bankruptcy, Compulsory Winding Up, Creditor’s Voluntary Winding Up or Member’s Voluntary Winding Up, the insolvency practitioner will not be able to use VRT to notify us about any variations. If the business is subject to an insolvency type other than those stated above, the insolvency practitioner will be able to use VRT to inform us of certain changes, providing the business has appointed them as an agent through the online agent authorisation process.