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Breaking News on VAT Registration: HMRC Shifts to Online Process from November 2023

Published by UK Property Accountants
Published Date: November 7, 2023

In a significant digital transition, HMRC has announced that VAT registrations must now be completed online, marking a pivotal change for businesses in the UK. This shift comes into effect from 13 November 2023, as HMRC bids farewell to the traditional paper VAT 1 Form, making way for their user-friendly online VAT registration service.

This online approach is expected to revolutionise the registration process, enhancing efficiency, and reducing processing times significantly. According to HMRC, over 95% of businesses and agents already utilise the online service, emphasising its popularity and ease of use.

Streamlined Processing

HMRC's decision to digitise VAT Registrations aims to expedite processing times. As per their guidelines, at least 80% of applications made online will be processed within 40 working days.

Notably, half of the applications are currently processed within a mere seven working days, showcasing the efficiency of the new system. For businesses facing challenges in accessing or using digital technology, a solution is in place. Such entities can call the VAT helpline to request a paper copy of the VAT1 Form.

Online Vat Registration

Importantly, there's no need to apply for exemption in advance. However, HMRC will inquire about the reason for the preference for the paper-based application.

Check out our complete guide on VAT registration in the UK by the name of
"A Complete Guide to VAT Registration in the UK" if you want to know more.


In cases where agents represent businesses with a digital exemption, they are encouraged to use the VAT registration service for a hassle-free application process. This ensures a smooth transition even for businesses with specific digital limitations.

As the online VAT registration system becomes the norm, businesses and agents are urged to familiarise themselves with the process, ensuring compliance and seamless operations.

To register for your VAT today, visit the official website of HMRC.

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