Keith, on the whole that was excellent, thank you. I have one question to ask about the 2nd paragraph - you said "any prior registration input tax on expenses disbursed is reclaimable on the first VAT Return after registration anyway" - is it not the case that VAT for any services you have received must be claimed within 6 months of receipt? If so, does that mean that if we don't register for, say, 8 months, then we will lose the input VAT paid for any services we have already received?
Yes, you are correct in general terms input tax should be reclaimed within six months, tongue in cheek, a rule more adhered to in the breach than in the observance. There is an exception, see below. So, get registered as soon as possible.
Here is the advice in HMRC's VAT Input Tax Tool Kit. You will see that the limit for purchased good extends for a longer period:
'A business may generally reclaim VAT incurred on goods it has purchased no more than four years before the date of registration. The goods must, however, be for its taxable business purposes and remain on hand at the date of registration. A business may also generally reclaim VAT incurred on services it has purchased for its taxable business purposes during the six months before VAT registration. VAT cannot be claimed on goods and services purchased before registration which relate to exempt supplies or non-business activities.'
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