Introduction to VAT
What is VAT?
VAT is a tax that's charged on most business transactions in the UK. Businesses add VAT to the price they charge when they provide goods and services to:
- business customers - for example, a clothing manufacturer adds VAT to the prices they charge a clothes shop
- non-business customers - members of the public or 'consumers' - for example, a hairdressing salon includes VAT in the prices they charge members of the public
If you're a VAT-registered business, in most cases you:
- charge VAT on the goods and services you provide
- reclaim the VAT you pay when you buy goods and services for your business
If you are not VAT-registered then you cannot reclaim the VAT you pay when you purchase goods and services.
Subjects covered in this guide
HM Revenue & Customs