If there are any changes whatsoever to your business or ownership, you must report them to the HMRC in writing within 30 calendar days. They need time to register your changes and perhaps deregister you or make changes in your records. If you do not make these changes available to them in the allotted time, they will penalise you with a surcharge.
There are many reasons for a change in your business, and for each there is a procedure, but they all follow the above necessary route.
Change In The Name Or Address
The VAT information which you supplied at the time of registration has changed so you must inform the office right away. That includes the name of your business, the address of your business, the name and address of any partner(s) in your business or any other official changes in the information you supplied.
Death Or Illness
If you are taking over the business from someone who has died or who is ill, you may assume the responsibilities of the VAT registration number until such time as the owner is passed or survives. You must tell the office within 21 days of taking over the business or if the business is passed onto a relative or is closed.
The same goes for any business taking on a new partner or an extra partner. The office must be informed within 30 days. That will be detailed further in this document
Changes To A Partnership
If your business started off as a partnership and there are any changes, the office must be notified. For example, if a partner exits and a new partner joins, then you must let the office know the names and the addresses of both. If you are the sole owner and you bring in a new partner, you must cancel the current VAT registration. Similarly, you must cancel your number if your partnership no longer exists.
You must cancel your VAT registration in the instance of a change in the legal status of your business. For example, if you change from a sole trader to a limited company or, vice versa, from a limited liability to an unlimited liability you must write a note to the HMRC. Such is the case, when a group of owners takes over a previously sole ownership of a club or restaurant. You must report this to the office. The same would apply if the opposite were true, a sole owner taking over a club previously owned by an unlimited company.
If you change the legal status of your company you might be able to keep the same registration number but often there will be times when it has to be cancelled and you have to start over again. You would have to fill in a VAT 68 form to keep your current number for the new business.
Changes To The Goods And Services
You need to notify the office within 30 days if your main way of doing business is changing. Reasons for cancelling your registration number include the fact that you have stopped making taxable supplies as you were earlier. You were registered to supply taxable goods and services but you no longer are able to do so. You formerly supplied goods and services outside of the UK but you no longer wish to do so. Those are reasons to cancel your VAT registration.
You can also cancel your number if your goods and services business is lower than before and it becomes Zero-rated. You must explain to the office what happened even though your turnover is still over £67,000. You might be exempt from having to pay VAT if that is the case. Also, if your volume of trading in the EU drops to a low level you might be able to cancel your number. There are many different courses of action to follow if your external trading stops or drops, so be sure to check with the HMRC office for particulars.
Changes In Banking Information
If, for any reason, you change banks or account numbers for VAT payments, be sure to notify the office as soon as possible. They rely on current information to collect automatic debit payments and if you do not have the account open, it can cost you a surcharge. They require more than 10 banking days in which to change their information so be sure to give them lots of leeway.
It might be best to follow all of the guidelines for VAT. They are there for your protection and the best interest of your business. Do not worry about investigations or inspections, unless you have forthrightly decided to do something fraudulent. In which case, they would not have given you a VAT number in the first place. You are advised to operate a legal business in which to make a bit of money on which to raise a family or to travel to faraway places. If someone wants to partner with you, make sure you know their background very well and have his records investigated. Do not do any business with anyone with whom you feel the least bit uneasy.
Finally, VAT is paid and then put into the public coffers to support the national obligations. The UK needs new roads, social programmes, better education, and public housing. There is so much to take care of in the UK, which is supported by our personal and business income taxes. Once again, rely on your certified accountants to guide you in starting your business or retail store, filing your VAT claims if need be, and keeping your records up-to-date. If there are any changes, you can write a quick note, including your name, business name, address and registration number and it will be duly noted. If you use the computer to write any letters, be sure to keep a copy of your correspondence. If your business falls on hard times, then have a hard look at deregistering your VAT number and that would be one less worry for you and your business.