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VAT Flat Rate Scheme guidance updated

HMRC have issued updated guidance on the operation of the VAT Flat Rate Scheme which allows taxpayers to calculate the VAT payable by applying a flat rate percentage to their VAT inclusive turnover, rather than netting off output and input VAT due on sales and purchases.

The revision in the guidance follows a number of unsuccessful visits to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT). HMRC has issued a revised version of VAT notice 733 Flat Rate Scheme to update their guidance in accordance with the FTT decisions.

The previous version of the notice listed a number of trades and professions (at paragraph 4.4 of the guidance) and indicated the relevant sectors and percentages that these types of business should choose. These had a higher percentage than the 12% rate which applies to 'business services not listed elsewhere'.

The FTT was critical of HMRC in their rigid interpretation of their own guidance. Although this section of the guidance has not been removed, taxpayers are now advised to 'use ordinary English' and choose the sector which 'most closely describes what your business will be doing in the coming year'. The new guidance confirms that HMRC will not change a business's choice of sector retrospectively as long as the choice was reasonable.

Please contact us if you would like any advice on VAT matters.

Internet link: VAT Notice 733

04 Oct 2018

UK Budget date announced

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has announced that the Budget will take place on Monday 29 October.

04 Oct 2018

Self-employed Class 2 National Insurance will not be scrapped

The government has decided not to proceed with plans to abolish Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from April 2019.

04 Oct 2018

'No deal' Brexit guidance and small business survey

The government has issued further notices with the aim of helping both businesses and individuals to prepare in the event of a UK-EU agreement not being realised.