United Kingdom — Value-added tax (VAT)
|General VAT Rate||Other Rates||Local Currency|
|20%||5%, 0%||Pound (GBP)|
United Kingdom's general VAT rate is 20%, with other rates including 5% and 0% that can apply to certain transactions. The Value-added tax (VAT) is administered by the HM Revenue & Customs (https://www.gov.uk/ government/organisations/ hm-revenue-customs) in London.
Visitors to United Kingdom can qualify for a VAT refund on all purchases made for export - learn more about United Kingdom VAT refunds here.
The United Kingdom completely exempts from VAT life essentials like basic food, water, prescription medications, medical equipment and medical supplies, public transport, children's clothing, books and periodicals. New building construction is also exempt from VAT.
There is also a 5% reduced VAT rate on domestic fuel, feminine hygiene products, domestic renovations etc, and child car seats.
United Kingdom is a member of the European Union (EU) Member State trading bloc, which may affect international VAT collection and regulations.
United Kingdom's consumption tax is called the Value-added tax (VAT), which was introduced in April 1973.
United Kingdom VAT rates for 2021
- Zero-rated, exempt and exempt with credit
United Kingdom VAT number format
Businesses in United Kingdom that are required to collect tax will be issued an identification number. Tax identification numbers can be verified with the HM Revenue & Customs, and will follow a certain format. The VAT number format is GB 999.9999.99.
United Kingdom VAT return periods
Businesses in United Kingdom that are required to collect tax from consumers must file regular tax returns with the HM Revenue & Customs in London. United Kingdom's VAT return periods are:
- General rule
- If requested by a business that receives regular repayments
- If requested by a small business
United Kingdom Value-added tax (VAT) Thresholds
These are the revenue thresholds at which businesses in United Kingdom are required to start collecting and remitting tax.
- GBP82,000 (zero for non-established businesses)
- Distance selling
- Intra-Community acquisitions
Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses
Non-established businesses are small, unincorporated businesses that sell taxable goods and may consist of a single individual, or several. Non-incorporated businesses in United Kingdom are required to collect taxes from the consumer.
United Kingdom VAT Refunds
United Kingdom has a VAT refund program that allows tourists and others to receive a refund of any United Kingdom VAT paid on goods purchased in United Kingdom that are being exported from the country.
The minimum purchase amount needed to claim a VAT refund is €30.00 Euros (which would yield a VAT refund of about €6). SalesTaxHandbook has detailed information about United Kingdom's VAT refund program:Learn More About United Kingdom VAT Refunds
United Kingdom Tax Sources & Citations
- EN: United Kingdom Value Added Tax
- RU: НДС Великобритания
- CN: 英国 增值税
- United Kingdom HM Revenue & Customs (https://www.gov.uk/ government/organisations/ hm-revenue-customs)
- Ernst & Young global VAT tax study, United Kingdom (updated 2021)
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