Introduction to VAT Online for Individuals (if you are self-employed)
This section covers how to sign up for the VAT Online service* so you can submit your VAT Return online. It does not relate to registering your business for VAT.
* Please note that if you have already registered your business for VAT using our online tax registration service, you will have automatically been enrolled for the VAT Online service. Please do not sign up again for the same VAT business.
Using the HMRC VAT Online service
Signing up to do your VAT online is simple and straightforward. You only need to know how to move around web pages, select action buttons like 'next' and be able to input simple data such as your VAT registration number.
The online VAT Return uses the same boxes, layout and calculations as the paper one.
You'll need the following five pieces of information about your business:
- Your VAT registration number.
- The postcode of your principal place of business (if you're an overseas business use the postcode shown on your VAT4 Certificate of Registration).
- Your effective date of registration for VAT. (These first three pieces of information are on your Certificate of Registration). You can also find your date of registration on your Notice to submit VAT Returns online and pay VAT electronically if you’ve received one. If you have misplaced or lost your VAT4, you can ask HMRC to send you confirmation of the date of registration by completing an online form at Question about an online service - please complete the online form as directed.
- The final month of the last VAT Return you submitted (if you haven't yet submitted a return, then select N/A).
- The 'Box 5' figure from the last VAT Return you submitted (if you haven't yet submitted a return, then enter 0, that is, zero).
There are useful features within the online service that you may find helpful too.
- We strongly recommend that you sign up to receive an email reminder so that we can let you know when your VAT Returns are due. More information is available in the 'Set up an email reminder' section
- Set up a Direct Debit so that HMRC automatically collects only the VAT you declare on your return without you having to arrange payment each time. (HMRC recommend you sign up for the service when you register and enrol for online services.)
- Notify HMRC online of any changes, such as change of address, to your VAT-registered business.
If you submit online, then you must make payment of any VAT due electronically (for example by Direct Debit, phone or internet banking).
Important: When you use certain methods of electronic payment, you'll need to know HMRC bank account details to be able to pay us. For information go to 'How to pay VAT'