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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Transfers of going concerns (TOGC): VAT registration: distance sales

For further registration information with regard to distance sales, see VATREG41000.

VAT Act 1994, Schedule 2, paragraph 1(1)

This provides that a person is liable to register for VAT if his distance sales in the calendar year have exceeded the distance selling threshold. The value of his distance sales will be determined by Section 49(1)(a). Therefore, if the transferor’s relevant distance sales in the calendar year to the date of transfer had exceeded the registration threshold, the transferee would have a liability to register on the day of the TOGC. ‘Relevant distance sales’ in this context is the turnover of the business, or part business, being transferred.

If the relevant turnover of the transferor does not exceed the registration threshold, the transferee may have a liability to register at a later date.

Where the transferee had been making distance sales of his own prior to the TOGC, he must add the value of those to the distance sales made by the transferred business.


Where the transferor is registered by virtue of an option he exercised, the option does not carry forward to the transferee. The transferee must exercise his own option.

Excisable goods

As there is no registration threshold for the distance selling of excisable goods, the transferee will be registerable as soon as he makes any such supply regardless of the transferor’s turnover.