Beginner’s Guide to VAT

Click here to download our “Beginner’s Guide to VAT.

July 2016 edition.  Content includes:owl-31691_640

  • Section 1: What is VAT?
  • Section 2: Who must pay the tax: the Taxable Person
  • Section 3: What does “business” mean?
  • Section 4: How is the tax collected?
  • Section 5: Taxable and Exempt Supplies
  • Section 6: Partial exemption
  • Section 7: Time of supply: When the tax is payable
  • Section 8: VAT invoices
  • Section 9: VAT inspections
  • Section 10: Place of supply: International Business
  • Section 11: Special Schemes
  • Section 12: Property


This is a very brief guide to VAT and I have tried to explain the concepts in everyday terms.  It has been written as an introduction to VAT for those setting up in business for the first time who do not already have a working knowledge of VAT. 

Generally technical terms (ie terms that are included in the VAT legislation or HMRC guidance) are in quotation marks.

The first point about VAT is that as businesses, you are basically collecting the tax for the government!  It is therefore a very cheap and efficient way for the government to collect tax and is one of the largest sources of tax revenue for the UK government.  It is also a European tax as all EU countries are required as members of the EU to operate VAT systems in their countries……..

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