VAT registration

truecockney Registered Posts: 94 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
General question here...

I regularly see claims for unpaid VAT on invoices (as we are self billing, we require seeing the VAT certificate before settling charges with VAT included) and occasionally the dates on the certificate are not what I would deem as "usual". There can be anything up to a 9 month gap between registration date and issued date.

My question is... does anyone know of a reason for the ability to "backdate" a VAT registration so far in the past, as surely that goes against the principal of enforced registration once your turnover exceeds the registration threshold?


  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Some explanations:

    1. It has been known for HMRC to take literally months to grant a VAT reg cert.

    2. If someone is very late registering, they may have no choice but to backdate the registration (e.g. should have reg in Jan, don't notify til Sept, reg date will be Jan, legitimate 9 month gap between the 2 events)

    I can't remember if you can voluntarily register AND claim to backdate the registration a fair amount.

    Hope that helps.
  • truecockney
    truecockney Registered Posts: 94 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Thanks Monsoon. I always thought the 2nd reason you give goes against the idea of VAT registration (as it states that as soon as you are likely to exceed the VAT registration threshold, you are required to register, not when you realise you have...).

    I never realised that the VATman can take literally months to complete a registration! Although, since I've recently received a tax code notice amending mine from a code neither I nor my employer was informed about in the first place should really have given me some indication!
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Tax code notices - they have been APPALLING at them this year. It's possibly rubbish. Check it and phone them if it looks at all wrong, they have made major c0ckups this year and they admit it.

    Re VAT, yes the 2nd reason goes against it in a sense - but if someone doesn't realise they have to register, then HMRC don't know to make them! When they eventually register the date of reg will have to be backdated to the date they should have been registered from so it all comes out in the wash, they don't get away with not registering for a time (unless they lie or make a mistake on the registration).
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    Some business owners don't realise that it is a rolling year, not their financial year and if they don't keep an eye on the turnover it doesn't come to light till they send everything into their accountant to sort.
  • truecockney
    truecockney Registered Posts: 94 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Already done the tax code call as that was weird. They said mine came about when they provisionally raised codes in Jan for this tax year, without informing anyone. Then told me and employer that the provisional one had reverted 4 months after the start of the tax year. Agree... total RUBBISH this year!

    Thanks Jan. All duly noted :)
  • Rozzi Rainbow
    Rozzi Rainbow Registered Posts: 465
    General question here...

    There can be anything up to a 9 month gap between registration date and issued date.

    As well as the explanations already given, a new VAT certificate is issued when anything about the registration is changed - ie the business address, bank details, period ends etc. In this case the issue date is the date of amendment, which can be much later than the registration date if the business has been registered a long time before making these changes.
  • aicbaicb
    aicbaicb Registered Posts: 17 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    Could well have been a voluntary registration - I recently back dated one for a client over a year. He was making zero rated supplies and I claimed back his input tax for a year.
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