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A brief introduction to UK VAT

by Ashley Deakin | Mar 18, 2016
  • If you plan on expanding your business into the UK, you will need to have a thorough understanding of the UK’s complex VAT regulations. Our expert team of accountants can help you understand exactly how VAT works in the UK and when your company is, and isn’t, liable to pay it.
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    An overview of VAT in the UK

    VAT-infographic

    When is VAT charged?

    UK VAT is charged when a company registered for UK VAT sells to either another business or a non-business customer. This is called output tax.

    VAT vs GST

    VAT is similar to Australian GST (and Sales Tax in the US). It is a tax that is charged on most goods and services provided by VAT registered business in the UK. It is also charged on some goods and services imported from countries outside the EU and brought into the UK from other EU countries. The standard VAT rate is 20%.

    When can you reclaim VAT?

    When a UK VAT registered business buys goods and services, they can generally reclaim the VAT (input VAT) they have paid on those services. An individual or non-VAT registered businesses cannot do this.


    If you want to expand your business into the UK give us a call on + 44 (0) 20 7759 7514 or send us an email and one of the Sable International  team members will get hold of you to discuss how to begin the next exciting phase of your business.


    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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