Use online vat registration for faster and secure vat registering

If you are a trader based in the UK or any other EU country that has adopted vat as a medium of taxation then you should use online VAT registration for faster and secure vat registering. Most countries have computerised their vat operations and you too should save on time and effort by using all online vat services provided by your own vat department.

In the UK vat rules specify that you can apply for vat registration if your taxable sales rise over the vat threshold limit of £70,000 in the past 12 months or if you feel that they will do so within the next 30 days, although you can still register even before your sales touch this figure. However, you can at present only complete basic vat online registration by filling up and submitting vat form 1 online. This form is normally used by small businesses. If your business is a partnership firm, a group of companies, or plans to do business internationally then you can download and print all vat registration forms but will be required to fill up the form manually before sending it back to the HM Revenue and Customs or hmrc vat department.

If you plan to go in for online vat registration in another eu country that has adopted vat then you will need to first study all applicable vat rules before you register your business online. In case you have trouble in deciphering uk vat or eu vat rules then it is better if you appoint a vat agent or even a customs and excise customs vat agent in case you plan to conduct your business on an international level. This will allow you to remain safe while following all vat rules in different countries with falling foul of any department.

Once you send your vat online registration form to the hmrc department then you will receive a vat questionnaire within 15 days that will require additional details to be submitted such as your business address, telephone and fax numbers, bank account numbers, and several other details connected to your business including a few purchase and sales invoices.

Once your application is approved then you will receive your vat number and you will now need to change your invoicing method to issue vat invoices for all your sales. This vat invoice will have to display your vat no, vat rate, vat amount and the same will also need to be displayed on your vat returns that will need to be submitted to the hmrc vat department at regular intervals.

Currently, in the UK there are 3 types of vat rates applicable to all goods and services. The standard vat rate is 17.5% that is set to increase to 20% from January 4, 2011 onwards. There is a reduced vat rate of 5% and a zero vat rate on specific goods and services that will remain the same. There are also certain goods and services that are vat exempt. However, the vat rates are different in each eu country although the basic concept of charging vat tax remains the same in all vat enabled countries.

If you want to register your business for vat then going online will help save time and also allow you to securely complete the required process required for vat registration. You should simply log on to the hmrc vat department if your business is located in the UK or ask your vat agent to do so on your behalf before using online vat registration to get registered as a vat dealer without any problem.

Pay import vat when you import goods from eu special territories

If you are importing goods into the UK from specific regions of the world then you will need to pay import VAT when you import goods from eu special territories or even from non eu countries. This tax is collected by the hmrc vat department or the hm revenue and customs department at the port or airport itself and the goods are then subject to local sales vat rules.

The hmrc has provided for 14,000 classifications of goods and services that are subject to customs duties, excise duties and import vat. Most alcohol and tobacco products along with certain activities such as gambling are subject to excise duties while almost all other imports fall under customs duties and import vat depending on the goods and the country from where they arrive.

The hmrc has specified eu special territories where import vat will be levied if goods or services are brought in or sent to such territories. They are The French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe, The Canary Islands in Spain, The Aland Islands in Finland, French Guiana, Mount Athos and Reunion and Martinique in Greece, and The Channel Islands in the UK. This vat will also be levied when you import goods from non eu countries.

However, if you are a vat registered trader in the UK then you can apply for a vat refund in case you have already paid vat on any goods in the country of origin itself before being imported into the UK. You can also offset this vat against sales vat if the goods that you have imported are sold in the local UK market. Countries such as the UK and Italy also offer special vat deferment schemes where you can get relief from import vat for up to one month by filing out a special vat form with the hmrc and opening of a special vat deferment account with them. This move would help protect your cash flow.

Once you start selling your goods or services in the local market then you will also need to charge the local sales vat rate to your clients. You will need to make vat invoices that specifically mention vat rates and also file regular vat returns. If you have problem in understanding various duties and taxes imposed by the hmrc then you should engage the services of a proficient vat and customs agent. This will allow you to concentrate on expanding your business while all relevant paperwork and payment of taxes and duties is handled in an efficient manner.

The import vat rate is the same as sales vat rates of similar products sold in the UK. The UK has 3 vat rate slabs. The first is the standard vat rate of 17.5% that is slated to rise to 20% from January 4, 2011. The second is the reduced vat rate of 5% while the third is zero vat rate. There are also certain goods and services that are totally exempt from any vat.

You should have sufficient knowledge on various duties and taxes applicable on imported goods into the UK so that you can calculate the costs on an accurate basis. You should use all legal avenues to reduce your costs such as vat refunds, vat deferments, etc so that you can lower your costs further and improve the cash flow of your business. You should diligently pay import vat when you import goods from eu special territories or from non eu countries and use the services of an efficient vat agent to claim additional vat back.