Why VAT Registration Takes Time and How to Manage the Wait Effectively


Are you facing unexpected delays in your VAT registration process? This blog explores contributing factors and provides actionable guidance on managing this waiting period effectively.


Understanding the Delays:

Prolonged VAT registration delays, triggered by the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, persist. Some registrations take up to three months due to an ongoing backlog and intensified checks. These rigorous checks often require additional information, causing delays of up to eight weeks.


Current Status:

As of the latest update, HMRC is facing a one-month delay, currently processing requests received on October 23, 2023. To ascertain an estimated response date, HMRC offers an online tool that indicates when you can expect to receive a reply from HMRC.

Chasing Your VAT Registration:

Due to high call volumes, HMRC made the decision to temporarily close its VAT registration helpline. For status enquiries, you can now reach out via email at vrs.newregistrations@hmrc.gov.uk. If 40 days have passed without a response to your VAT registration, you can anticipate a reply to your email within five working days.


Expected Processing Time:

While the ideal timeframe for VAT registration is two to six weeks, unforeseen circumstances can extend this period. Presently, the processing time might stretch up to 30 working days, roughly six weeks, before you receive your VAT number.


What to Do While Awaiting VAT Registration:

During this waiting period, businesses are still required to proceed with paying VAT on all invoices from the effective date mentioned in the application. However, it’s important to note that VAT cannot be displayed on invoices until the VAT number is assigned. To manage this limitation, businesses can temporarily adjust prices by the VAT amount and include a note on invoices regarding the ongoing VAT registration process. Once your VAT number has been received, you will then need to provide clients with revised invoices showing the VAT with your VAT Number.


Additional Guidance:

AO Accountants recommends safeguarding your application details by printing a copy before submission. Seeking professional advice from an accountant or tax advisor can offer valuable insights into your obligations, ensuring compliance and providing a smooth journey through the VAT registration process.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the reasons behind delays and proactively addressing the situation, businesses can effectively manage the waiting period while preparing for a seamless VAT registration process. If you have any concerns or require expert assistance, feel free to reach out to AO Accountants for personalised support tailored to the creative industry.

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