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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

HM Revenue & Customs
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Special considerations for certain registrations: persons in prison

Although the provisions in the Prison Rules 1964 prevent a person in prison from carrying on a business from prison, they do not prevent agents from carrying on a business on behalf of a prisoner.

If a prisoner owns a business at some address other than prison, and the business makes taxable supplies above the registration threshold, the prisoner is liable to register because he is making taxable supplies.

If a prisoner is prevented from running the business whilst in prison and is either liable to be registered, or was registered prior to being committed to prison, another person should be authorised to deal with the VAT affairs of the business by power of attorney.

Being committed to prison is not treated as incapacity under of the VAT Regulations 1995, regulation 9.