VAT Notice

VAT guide (VAT Notice 700)

VAT Notice 700:

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is levied on the value added to goods and services at each stage of production and distribution. In the United Kingdom, VAT is a crucial component of the tax system, contributing significantly to government revenue. To ensure businesses and individuals understand their obligations and rights related to VAT, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has provided a comprehensive guide known as VAT Notice 700. In this blog post, we will delve into the key aspects covered in VAT Notice 700, providing a detailed overview with official links for further reference.

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax is a tax on consumer spending. It is collected in stages, with each business in the supply chain responsible for reporting and remitting the tax to HMRC. VAT is applied to the sale of goods and services, both tangible and intangible, and it is ultimately borne by the end consumer.

Official Link: VAT Notice 700

VAT Registration

One of the fundamental aspects covered in VAT Notice 700 is the process of VAT registration. Businesses that exceed the annual turnover threshold must register for VAT. The registration process is explained in detail, including the necessary forms and documentation.

Official Link: VAT registration – How to register for VAT

VAT Rates and When to Charge

VAT rates can vary depending on the type of goods or services provided. Notice 700 outlines the standard rate, reduced rate, and zero-rate categories, along with guidance on when to charge each rate. This section is crucial for businesses to ensure they are applying the correct VAT rates.

Official Link: VAT rates on different goods and services

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT

As part of HMRC’s digital transformation, Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT has been introduced. This section of VAT Notice 700 explains the MTD requirements, including digital record-keeping and filing VAT returns using compatible software.

Official Link: Making Tax Digital for VAT

VAT Returns and Payments

VAT-registered businesses are required to submit regular VAT returns to HMRC, detailing their output and input tax. The guide provides a step-by-step explanation of how to complete VAT returns and when payments are due.

Official Link: VAT Returns

Special VAT Schemes

VAT Notice 700 also covers various special schemes designed to simplify VAT accounting for specific types of businesses. These schemes include the Flat Rate Scheme, Annual Accounting Scheme, and Cash Accounting Scheme.

Official Link: VAT special schemes

Import and Export of Goods and Services

For businesses involved in international trade, the guide offers comprehensive information on the VAT implications of importing and exporting goods and services. This includes guidance on how to account for VAT on cross-border transactions.

Official Link: VAT on goods

VAT Inspections and Record-Keeping

VAT-registered businesses are subject to inspections by HMRC to ensure compliance. The guide outlines the rights and responsibilities of businesses during inspections and provides guidance on maintaining accurate VAT records.

Official Link: VAT inspections and visits


In conclusion, VAT Notice 700 serves as a vital resource for businesses and individuals navigating the complexities of VAT in the UK. The guide covers a wide range of topics, from registration to special schemes, making it an indispensable tool for ensuring compliance with HMRC regulations. By referring to the official links provided in this blog post, readers can access the most up-to-date and accurate information to guide them through their VAT obligations.

Remember, staying informed and proactively managing VAT responsibilities is key to avoiding penalties and maintaining a smooth and compliant business operation.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is based on the knowledge available as of the cutoff date in January 2022. For the latest updates and changes, readers are encouraged to visit the official HMRC website and consult with professional advisors.


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