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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Transfers of going concerns (TOGC): VAT registration: VAT Act 1994, section 49(1)(a)

(1) Where a business [or part of a business,] carried on by a taxable person is transferred to another person as a going concern, then—

(a) for the purpose of determining whether the transferee is liable to be registered under this Act he shall be treated as having carried on the business [or part of the business] before as well as after the transfer and supplies by the transferor shall be treated accordingly.

The transferor must be a taxable person, that is, someone who is:

  • VAT-registered, or
  • required to be VAT-registered (VAT Act 1994, Section 3)

at the time of the transfer.

The transferor need not have been a taxable person for any particular length of time: he simply has to be a taxable person when the TOGC occurs.

If the transferee is already a taxable person prior to the TOGC, Section 49(1)(a) does not apply as there is no liability to be determined and the transferee will not be seen as having carried on the business transferred before the transfer. This is important when considering successive transfers, see VATREG29550.

If the transferor is not a taxable person at the time of the transfer, the transferee shall not be deemed to have carried on the business prior to the transfer. However, see (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) for guidance on registration avoidance.