How to manage personal VAT refunds and business tax requirements in the most efficient way

Value Added Tax (VAT) first presented itself in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. Administrated by HMRC, it is the third highest source of income for the UK government. The standard VAT rate in the UK is currently 20%, and under EU law no EU state can have a rate under 15%. Some goods have a reduced VAT rate of 5% such as fuel, and other goods are exempt (such as goods sold in charity shops and children’s clothing).

VAT Refunds

If you are not from any EU state and you are visiting Europe, you may be eligible for EU VAT refund as a visitor. Most counties allow you to claim a VAT refund when you export items, and this means you must prove that you have left with the goods by declaring them when you pass through customs. The amount of price per item differs from country to country. The goods must be new and unused if you are looking to obtain a VAT refund on your purchased products. You should not open the original packaging until you leave the country.

This system also applies to EU VAT refunds for businesses. You can often reclaim the VAT paid on goods and services bought for use in your business. If a purchase is also for individual use, you can only retrieve the business amount of the VAT.

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital is being introduced by the UK government which lays out a vision to mark the ‘end of the tax return’ as we know it and ‘transform the tax system’ by the year 2020. HMRC states that the core aim of the introduction of Making Tax Digital is to make tax management more operative and more accessible to taxpayers. Under this scheme, you will send HMRC your income and expenses summary on a quarterly basis, which will ultimately determine a more accurate forecast of the tax due.

VAT Registration

If you have a business and you are looking to register for VAT in the UK, you will need to go through HMRC which can sometimes be complicated, especially if you are a first-time business owner and unfamiliar with the procedure. Most business owners prefer to do this through an agent or their accountants. At More Group, we can manage this for you without you having to go through the hassle of waiting on the phone for HMRC to provide instructions or send you a reply. By having an assigned small business tax accountant in London, we will sort out the VAT registration and all statutory compliance, allowing you to focus on dealing with the running of your business. It can work out more cost effective to leave UK VAT registration and return obligations to the professionals.

Contact More Group

For more information on how More Group can help you, please head over to our VAT services page or contact us on +++020 3820 7385. Our friendly staff and small business VAT consultants in the UK will be happy to help you. Alternatively, you can send us an email at or complete a contact form through our website.

Note: The information should not be construed as legal or other advice as it designed as an information source only © More Group 2019. All rights reserved.