Many small businesses in the UK are registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) because their revenue breaches the registration threshold. There are also many who are not as they are below the threshold. Businesses who are not yet at the VAT threshold, however can register for VAT voluntarily. Whether or not to register for VAT voluntarily is a decision that all small business owners must make when below the VAT registration threshold.
So, what are some of the things you should take into account when making this decision?
Let's take a look.
As a small business owner in the UK, you will need to decide whether or not to register for Value Added Tax (VAT). This is a decision that should not be taken lightly, as there are pros and cons to both registering and not registering for VAT.
Some of the things you should take into account when making your decision include:
Advantages of Voluntary VAT registration
1. You can recover VAT on your purchases
If you register for VAT voluntarily, you can recover the VAT that you have paid on your purchases. This can be a significant advantage, particularly for businesses that make a lot of purchases.
2. It can improve your cash flow
If you register for VAT voluntarily, you can choose to pay your VAT liability quarterly instead of monthly. This can be a significant advantage, as it can help to improve your cash flow. This is because you are collecting VAT in and not making the payment until a few months later.
3. It can make your business appear more professional
When you register for VAT, it can make your business appear more professional. This is because it shows that you are serious about your business and that you are compliant with the law
Disadvantages of Voluntary VAT registration
1. You Will Probably Owe Money
If you register for VAT voluntarily, you may end up owing money to the government if the VAT on sales for the year are more than the VAT on expenses. This means a cash payment out.
2. Your Competitors May Have an Advantage
If you register for VAT voluntarily, your competitors who are not registered for VAT will have a pricing advantage over you as they will not have to charge VAT on their products and services. This could make it difficult for you to compete in the marketplace.
3. Administrative Burden
You will need to file quarterly returns with the government detailing the amount of VAT owed. This can be a complex and time-consuming task, particularly for businesses with a lot of transactions. As a result, you may need to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you prepare and file your quarterly returns.
4. It Can Be Difficult to Cancel
If you decide that registering for VAT was a mistake, it can be difficult to cancel your registration. You may have to provide a reason for wanting to cancel and prove that your business meets the eligibility requirements for cancellation. This can be a time-consuming and difficult process.
Only you can decide whether or not to register for VAT as a small business owner in the UK. There are some things you should take into account when making your decision, such as your business turnover, the type of products or services you sell, and the benefits and costs associated with registration. Ultimately, it is up to you to weigh all of these factors and decide what is best for your business.