Changes to your business details and your VAT registration

If your business circumstances change you must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Certain changes can affect, or even require you to cancel your VAT registration. In most cases you need to tell HMRC within 30 calendar days, or you may face a financial penalty. In some cases the time limit is shorter or you may even need to give advance notice.

This guide explains what changes in circumstances need to be reported to HMRC, it also explains the action you need to take and by when you need to take that action.

Other changes in your business circumstances may mean you want to cancel your registration voluntarily. This guide explains when you might be able to apply to do this.

On this page:

Changes in names and addresses

Your VAT registration is based on the information you supplied to HMRC when you registered. So if your business circumstances change you should tell HMRC straight away - and definitely within 30 calendar days otherwise you could face a financial penalty.

You need to tell HMRC if any of the following change:

  • the name or trading name of your business
  • the main address of your business
  • the name and/or home address of any partner in the business
  • if you are an overseas company or resident, the name and/or address of the UK agent for VAT purposes

You can report the changes to HMRC online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services

Alternatively you can tell HMRC in writing using form VAT 484. You can't tell HMRC about changes to your details by telephone or by email.

Go to form VAT 484 Notifying us of changes to a VAT registered business

See the section in this guide on how to change your registration details online.

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Death and illness

If you are representing someone who has died or is ill, then you have the same VAT obligations as that person. This will continue until any one of the following happens:

  • you register for VAT
  • the owner returns to the business
  • the business is passed on or closed

You must contact HMRC within 21 calendar days of taking on this responsibility and provide details of the date of death or the date on which the illness began (as appropriate).

If you are in a partnership and one of the partners has died, then either you or another partner must write to HMRC within 30 calendar days of the date of death. You also need to do this if you and at least one other remaining partner intend to continue in business

If you are the only surviving partner and you want to recruit another partner, you must write to HMRC within 30 calendar days of the new appointment. If you decide to continue the business as a sole proprietor, you should report this within 30 calendar days of the change taking place.

You can only notify HMRC of changes in partnerships or as a result of death or illness in writing using form VAT 484. You can't tell HMRC about changes to your details online, by telephone or by email.

Go to form VAT 484 Notifying HMRC of changes to a VAT registered business

See the section in this guide on how to change your registration details online.

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Changes to a partnership

If your business is a partnership and there are any changes - a partner leaves, a new partner joins or both, then you must tell HMRC. You also have to tell HMRC if the name or home address of any partner in the business changes.

You need to tell HMRC about these changes within 30 calendar days. You can't tell HMRC about these changes by telephone or online, instead complete form VAT 2 and send it to:

HM Revenue & Customs
VAT Registration Service
Crown House
Birch Street
Wolverhampton
WV1 4JX

If you own a business and go into a partnership, or your partnership ceases to exist and one of the former partners becomes the sole owner of the business, this is a change in the legal status of your business - see the section in this guide for what to do when the legal status of your business changes.

Go to form VAT 2 Value Added Tax - Partnership Details

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Changes in the legal status of your business

A change in the legal status of your business might happen when, for example, a company (or other incorporated body) is formed to take over a business previously run by a sole proprietor or group of people, such as a partnership or club - or if a business previously carried on by a company (or other incorporated body) is taken over by a sole proprietor or group of people.

If you change the legal status of your business, then you must complete a new VAT registration application and either:

  • transfer the VAT registration number to the new entity, if you want to
  • cancel the existing registration, in which case you'll be given a new VAT registration number

You can do this online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to change the legal status of your business

Alternatively you can complete a number of forms if you want to do it by post.

Go to form VAT 68 Request for transfer of a registration number

Read more about cancelling your VAT registration

Find out how to register for VAT

See our guide on taking over a business and VAT registration

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Changes to the goods and services you supply

You need to tell HMRC within 30 calendar days if your main business activity changes.

Circumstances in which you must cancel your VAT registration include the following:

  • you're registered for VAT because you supply goods and/or services that are VAT taxable, but you stop making VAT taxable supplies
  • you were registered because you intended to supply VAT taxable goods and services, but this is no longer the case
  • you supplied, or intended to supply, goods and services outside the UK that would have been VAT taxable in the UK, but this is no longer the case

You can choose to cancel your registration if your goods and services become wholly or mainly zero-rated, even if your turnover is above the annual registration threshold - currently £81,000.

If you make standard rated supplies and your turnover exceeds the annual registration limit - currently £81,000 - you can only cancel your registration if your input tax normally exceeds your output tax. When you write to HMRC, explain why you think you should be exempt from registration.

You can notify HMRC of changes to the goods and services you supply online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to notify HMRC of changes to a VAT registered business

Alternatively you can tell HMRC in writing using form VAT 484. You can't notify HMRC of changes to your business details by telephone or by email.

You don't need to tell HMRC if you start trading internationally. However, you will need to start completing EC Sales Lists (ESLs) if you sell goods or certain services to VAT-registered businesses in other European Union (EU) countries.

See the section in this guide on how to change your registration details online.

Go to form VAT 484 Notifying us of changes to a VAT registered business

More about VAT and international trade

ESLs: completing and submitting, online or on paper

See our guide to cancelling your VAT registration

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A reduction in your turnover or your international trade

If your turnover drops, or the volume of goods you trade with the EU falls, you may be entitled to voluntarily cancel your VAT registration. You can do this online, or by completing form VAT 7 and returning it to HMRC. You can't cancel your VAT registration by telephone or by email.

A drop in turnover

You can ask HMRC to cancel your VAT registration when your annual VAT taxable turnover falls, or you expect it to fall in the next 12 months, below the threshold for deregistration - currently £79,000.

If you want to do this, you must explain the reason for the drop in your turnover to HMRC. Possible reasons might include a reduction in opening times, loss of contracts or changes in your business practices. You'll have to give HMRC your anticipated turnover for the next year.

You won't be allowed to cancel your registration if the reduction in your turnover is due to your intention to stop trading or suspend making taxable supplies for 30 days or more in the next 12 months.

A drop in distance sales

If you are based in another EU country and are distance selling to the UK, you can apply to cancel your registration if the annual value of your distance sales falls below the registration threshold for distance selling - currently £79,000. You can also apply to cancel your registration if you no longer plan to make the UK your place of supply for distance sales.

A drop in acquisitions from other EU countries

If you are registered for VAT because you have previously gone over the threshold for making acquisitions from other EU countries, then you can apply to cancel your VAT registration provided the following conditions have been met:

  • the value of your acquisitions in the previous calendar year (ending 31 December) falls below the deregistration threshold - currently £79,000
  • the value of your acquisitions in the current financial year remains below the deregistration threshold - currently £79,000

If you registered for VAT on a voluntary basis and your business continues to trade you must remain VAT registered for a minimum of two calendar years. If your business has ceased to trade then you may apply to cancel your registration at any time.

How to cancel your VAT registration

You can cancel your VAT registration online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to cancel your VAT registration

Alternatively you can tell HMRC by completing form VAT 7 and returning it to HMRC.

Until your registration is cancelled, you'll have to carry on charging, and accounting for, VAT. HMRC may refuse your request for voluntary deregistration, in which case you'll have to carry on charging, and accounting for, VAT.

See information about cancelling your VAT registration

Go to form VAT 7 Application to Cancel your VAT Registration

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Changes to your bank details

It's very important to let HMRC know if your bank details are going to change, because these details are used to make repayments to you. You must give at least 14 days' notice of any change.

You can do this online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to change your bank details

Alternatively you can tell HMRC in writing on form VAT 484.

You can't notify HMRC of changes to your bank details by telephone, email or through an agent. If you do not tell HMRC about a change to your bank details, repayments may continue to be paid to your original account.

Please note that HMRC can't change your Direct Debit Instruction when you notify them of changes to your bank details, whether you notify online or in writing. You will have to issue a new Direct Debit Instruction by contacting your bank - see below.

If you pay your VAT by Direct Debit, you'll also have to change your Direct Debit Instruction. You need to do this via your bank, who will automatically advise HMRC of any changes. However, you shouldn't change your details within five banking days either side of your VAT return due date, as it may mean HMRC can't collect your payment. If that happens and the payment is late, you'll be liable to a surcharge.

If you change your Direct Debit details in this way, this will not change the bank details that HMRC holds for making repayments of VAT to you. You must notify these details separately as described above, otherwise repayments will continue to be made using the old details.

Go to form VAT 484 Notifying us of changes to a VAT registered business

See the section in this guide on how to change your registration details online.

Annual Accounting Scheme

If you use the Annual Accounting Scheme and you change your bank account number and/or sort code, then this will affect your Direct Debit arrangements for your payments under the scheme. You must tell your bank and write to the Annual Accounting Registration Unit at the following address, quoting your registration number and providing your new account details:

HM Revenue & Customs
Annual Accounting Registration Unit
National Registration Services
Imperial House
77 Victoria Street
Grimsby
DN31 1 DB

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Changes to a VAT group

If you want to change the composition of a VAT group, you should apply to HMRC straight away. If you don't apply to include an extra member in the VAT group at the right time, you might not be able to obtain a period of retrospection. You must also tell HMRC if you no longer meet the criteria for divisional registration. If you don't, divisional registration may be cancelled and you may be restricted to a single registration.

If you are part of a VAT group and the group is disbanded, the group's registration will be cancelled. If you still need to be registered for VAT, you will need to re-register. If you disband a VAT group, you can do this online or use forms VAT 50 and VAT 51.

You must complete forms VAT 51 and VAT 50 to notify HMRC when you add a new group member or exclude a group member. These can't be done online, by telephone or by email.

You will need to complete form VAT 56 if you change the representative member of a VAT group. And if the representative member is not already a group member, you will also need to complete forms VAT 50 and VAT 51.

Group, division or joint venture VAT registration

Go to form VAT 50 Application for VAT Group Treatment

Go to form VAT 51 Application of VAT group treatment - company details

Go to form VAT 56 Application to change the representative member of a VAT group

Closing or selling a business

If you close or sell your business, you have to cancel your VAT registration. You can do this online. HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to cancel your VAT registration

Alternatively you can tell HMRC by completing form VAT 7. You can't cancel your VAT registration by telephone or by email.

Go to form VAT 7 Application to Cancel Your VAT Registration

Read our guide on closing or selling your business and your VAT registration

Using an accountant

If you want to authorise your accountant to make changes to an existing group on your behalf, you must inform HMRC of this using form VAT 53.

Get form VAT 53

Read more about appointing someone to deal with your VAT affairs

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Notifying changes if you are abroad

If you are not based in the UK or you have moved out of the UK and you need to tell HMRC about a change, you can do this online - with the exception of changing your agent or tax representative details.

Alternatively you can use an agent or tax representative, or write to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Non Established Taxable Persons Unit (NETPU)
Ruby House
8 Ruby Place
Aberdeen
AB10 1ZP

Find out how to authorise someone to act as your VAT agent

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What registration details can you change online?

If you are registered for VAT Online (to enable you to submit your VAT Returns online) you can change the following registration details:

  • business name and trading name
  • principal place of business address
  • business contact details - telephone number, email address and website address
  • bank account details
  • frequency of VAT Returns

Before you can make any changes, however, you may have to enrol for the 'Change registration details' service by selecting the 'Change registration details' option from your 'At a glance' page.

If you have used HMRC Online Services on or after 8 April 2013, to register for VAT, you will be able to use this service immediately without having to enrol.

HMRC will tell you when your changes have been made using the customer communications service. Once you have logged in to HMRC Online Services you can access customer communications from the 'Your HMRC services' page.

Please note that HMRC can't change your Direct Debit Instruction if you notify them of changes to your bank details online. You will have to issue a new Direct Debit Instruction by contacting your bank.

Change your VAT registration details online

Contact the VAT Online Services Helpdesk

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Insolvency and changing your VAT registration details

If you or your business becomes insolvent your affairs will be taken over by a licensed insolvency practitioner, and they will be responsible for making any changes to your VAT registration details.

Insolvency and your VAT registration

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