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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Registration in respect of acquisitions from other Member States: compulsory registration

A person may become liable to be registered in respect of acquisitions under either Schedule 3, paragraph 1(1) (the backward look) or Schedule 3, paragraph 1(2) (the forward look).

Backward look

Schedule 3, paragraph 1(1) states:

A person becomes liable to be registered under this Schedule at the end of any month if, in the period beginning with 1st January of the year in which that month falls, that person has made relevant acquisitions whose value exceeds [the acquisition threshold]. 

Traders may therefore be liable to register at any time during the calendar year, as soon as the threshold is exceeded, but their liability calculation starts afresh at 1st January each year.

Forward look

Schedule 3, paragraph 1(2) states:

A person becomes liable to be registered under this Schedule at any time if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the value of his relevant acquisitions in the period of 30 days alone will exceed [the acquisition threshold].