6. Cancel registration

You must cancel your registration if you’re no longer eligible to be VAT registered. For example:

  • you stop trading or making VAT taxable supplies
  • you join a VAT group

You can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to cancel your registration if your VAT taxable turnover falls below the de-registration threshold of £79,000.

VAT taxable turnover is the total of everything you sell during the year unless it is exempt from VAT.

How to cancel

You can apply to cancel your VAT registration:

You must do this within 30 days of your reason for cancelling the registration or you may be charged a penalty.

What happens next

It usually takes 3 weeks for HMRC to confirm your de-registation and the official de-registration date. This is either the date when the reason for your cancellation took effect (eg when you stopped trading), or the date you asked to de-register if it’s voluntary.

HMRC will send confirmation to your VAT online account (or through the post if you don’t apply online). From the date of de-registration you must stop charging VAT and keep your VAT records for 6 years.

HMRC will automatically re-register you if they realise you shouldn’t have cancelled. You’ll have to account for any VAT you should have paid in the meantime.

VAT after you cancel

You’ll have to submit a final VAT Return for the period up to and including the de-registration date. You must account for any stock and other assets you have on this date if:

  • you could reclaim VAT when you bought them
  • the total VAT due on these assets is over £1,000

Don’t wait until you’ve received all your invoices before submitting your final return. You’ll still be able to reclaim VAT on anything you bought for your business while still registered once you get the invoices.

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