What is a VAT Certificate?
If your VAT taxable income turnover exceeds £85,000, you must register your business for VAT with the HMRC.
When you register, you will be sent a VAT registration certificate which outlines many important details you will need when submitting your VAT Returns.
The VAT certificate which you receive will confirm the following pieces of information:
- your VAT number [these are 9 digits long, and usually have the letter 'GB' at the start]
- when you have to submit your first VAT Return and payment [most common option will be quarterly]
- your 'effective date of registration' [this will either be the day you went over the threshold, or asked to voluntarily register]
What happens when I register?
If you register online, you will create a VAT online account (known as the 'Government Gateway Account'). You should get a VAT registration certificate within 30 working days, though it can take longer, and it is sent to your VAT online account.
You can also appoint an accountant (or agent) to submit your VAT Returns and deal with the HMRC on your behalf, a service which The Accountancy Cloud provides to almost all of our clients. In this case, we register you for VAT if you're eligible or if you voluntarily choose to, and you should receive your VAT Certificate by post within 30 working days.
What can I do if I've misplaced my VAT Certificate?
If you have lost your VAT Certificate, do not worry, there are a couple of ways to retrieve a copy or get one issued. If you have registered for VAT online, then it's as simple as logging into your gov.uk account here. Once you have logged in, scroll down and click the link which says "More VAT Details". On the new page, scroll down and click VAT Certificate. There you have it! Click print certificate and save it as PDF for safe keeping.
If you registered online and cannot find your VAT Certificate this way, it is worth checking if 30 working days have passed and calling HMRC to inquire.
If you've chosen The Accountancy Cloud to provide you with our VAT Services, simply email or call and we will be able to provide you with a copy given that you have successfully been registered and received a copy in the first place.
The VAT Certificate hasn't arrived in 30 working days, what do I do?
The HMRC does advise that it could take more than 30 working days, so be patient and wait another week. If it doesn't arrive by then, call the HMRC to inquire. Here at The Accountancy Cloud we try to keep on top of it and will call on your behalf.
More VAT information
Registering for VAT comes with certain responsibilities, and it's worth knowing what they are even if you have a reliable accountant handling your VAT Returns.
You can find more information by visiting https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration or by asking your The Accountancy Cloud dedicated analyst.