The Chancellor confirmed in his Budget speech that the taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses should be registered for VAT, will be frozen at £85,000 for a further 2 years from 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2022. The taxable turnover threshold that determines whether businesses can apply for deregistration will also be frozen at the current rate of £83,000 for the same time period.
Businesses are required to register for VAT if they meet either of the following two conditions:
- At the end of any month, the value of the taxable supplies made in the past 12 months or less has exceeded £85,000; or
- At any time, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the value of taxable supplies to be made in the next 30 days alone will exceed £85,000.
The Chancellor was clear that the government had explored various options to address the cliff edge effect of VAT registration. This followed the publication of an Office of Tax Simplification report recognising the distortions the threshold causes and recommending the government review this area of tax. The ability to allow small businesses to stay outside the VAT system has many benefits, but there are concerns of the gap between businesses that have to charge VAT against those that do not. HM Treasury will continue to examine this issue, but the Chancellor has provided certainty for the time being on the VAT thresholds for the next number of years.