For the uninitiated (and even for those who do know a thing or two about it) VAT can seem like a minefield – and a confusing one at that. While there is one main rate of VAT there are several other ones in place as well. Could your business be eligible to opt in to the scheme that allows you to pay a lower rate? Do you know the answer? Would you know where to go to get the answers? Are you starting a business and need information on whether or not you need to register at all?
As you can see there is a lot to think about here and you may already know how confusing the whole thing can seem. In this sense it is a good idea to know where you can go to get reliable answers. They can certainly help to dispel the confusion.
The best site to visit is the official HMRC website because this will be up to date and have all the information you could need. However there may be instances where you read something and you’re still not sure what it means or whether it applies to you or not. In this situation it can be good to be a member of a business forum in the UK, as the members there can provide insight from their own experiences.
Of course you should be a little careful when taking part in any forum. People offer their own opinions and knowledge based on their own experiences and there is no way of knowing whether the information they give you is accurate. If you think you have found the answer to a question you have, make sure you check it prior to acting on it.
Using forums is normally most beneficial when you are simply looking for more details. If you need some crucial piece of information you should always go direct to HMRC to get it. HMRC also has an email address you can use specifically for enquiries, so if you don’t want to hang on the phone for ages this could be the best way to get an answer if it isn’t that urgent.
Another possible avenue to consider is to ask your accountant, assuming you have one. A tax adviser should also be able to provide you with more information. If you use an accountant regularly anyway you should be able to call or email them with your question. It may even be something they can handle on your behalf, which would make it much easier to solve the problem.
As you can see there are a number of possibilities to look into here. Any one of them might be ideal for your needs, but it is good to bear them all in mind. You never know when you might need some answers.