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VAT, Tax & Duty


VAT is charged at the current rate of 20%. The website allows you to view the prices Inclusive and Exclusive of VAT.

The default view is Inclusive of VAT.

VAT is the amount we have to give to HM Revnue & Customs (HMRC) on everything we sell that is VATable. So the VAT you pay goes directly to the Government.

If you are a UK VAT registered company you will be able to reclaim VAT from the HMRC

Only exports outside of the EU are automatically allowed to be non-vatable.

When do you pay VAT and how much?

Each EU country has its own rates of VAT. In the UK there are three rates.

Standard rate

You pay VAT on most goods and services in the UK at the standard rate, which is 20 percent.

Reduced rate

In some cases, for example childrens car seats and domestic fuel or power, you pay a reduced rate of five per cent.

Zero rate

There are some goods on which you don't pay any VAT, like:

  • food
  • books, newspapers and magazines
  • children's clothes
  • special exempt items - for example equipment for disabled people

How VAT is worked out

When someone charges you VAT they multiply the original ('net') price of the item or service by the VAT rate to calculate the amount of VAT to charge. They then add the VAT amount to the net price to give the 'gross' price - the price you pay.

VAT on bills and receipts

Most retail prices on bills and receipts include VAT - it is not shown separately. However some may have a line under which they show the VAT element. This doesn't mean you're being charged extra - it just shows how much of the price is made up of tax.

Non-retail invoices from VAT-registered suppliers (for example from builders or painters and decorators who are VAT registered) must show a separate amount for VAT. They must also show the 9-digit VAT registration number of the business.

How to check if a VAT number is valid

To check whether a UK VAT number is valid you can call HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) VAT Helpline on 0845 010 9000. Lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday.

You can also check European Union VAT numbers online.

If you suspect a VAT fraud

If you suspect that a firm is avoiding paying VAT, or of charging VAT when they aren't VAT registered, you can report them in confidence on the Customs Confidential hotline, 0800 595 000, open 24 hours, seven days a week.

You don't have to give your name or any personal details.

Businesses that may not charge VAT

Businesses with annual sales below £68,000 (2009-10) don't have to register for (and therefore charge) VAT, but they may choose to do so voluntarily. If they don't, the price you pay for their goods or services may be cheaper than if you bought the same goods or services from a VAT-registered supplier.

VAT guidance for charities and not-for-profit organisations

VAT for charities and not-for-profit organisations: introduction What VAT reliefs and exemptions are available on expenditure or income, whether you should register for VAT

VAT treatment of common types of charity income What income for charities and not-for-profit organisations is taxable, exempt or outside the scope of VAT

How VAT applies to fundraising events How charities and not-for-profit organisations can be exempt from charging VAT on fundraising events that meet certain conditions

VAT reliefs on charity purchasesWhat goods and services are VAT zero-rated or reduced-rated when purchased by charities

Zero-rated VAT on charity-funded equipment What goods and services qualify for zero-rating if bought with charitable funds by or for certain types of organisation

Reduced rate VAT on fuel and power used for charity non-business use Who qualifies for reduced rate VAT, working out the split between business and non-busines use, what types of supply qualify

How charities can import goods VAT-freeWhat types of goods can be bought VAT-free and who can import them

Charging VAT if you make supplies to charitiesSupplying goods to charities at a reduced or zero rate of VAT, checking that the charity and your supplies qualify for relief

Exports, despatches, supplying goods abroad: charging VAT

If you sell, supply or transfer goods out of the UK to someone in another country you may need to charge VAT on them. Generally speaking, you can zero-rate supplies exported outside the European Union (EU), or sent to someone who's registered for VAT in another EU country, provided you follow strict rules, obtain and keep the necessary evidence, and obey all laws. This guide will tell you when you can zero-rate your goods and what evidence you need to keep.

If you send goods out of the UK there are also a number of official forms you'll need to complete. This guide will also help you find out what forms you need and how to fill them in.

On this page:

Further information

If you have a query, contact HMRC's VAT Helpline on 0845 010 9000. Lines are open 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday.



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