UHY Ross Brooke Chartered Accountants

Can I reclaim the VAT on expenses before VAT registration?

vat - need to know

You can generally reclaim VAT on goods you bought up to 4 years before you registered for VAT and services you bought up to 6 months before you registered as long as the following conditions are met;

  • The goods were bought by you as the entity that is now registered for VAT
  • The goods are for your VAT taxable business purpose
  • The goods are still held by you or they have been used to make other goods you still hold

You cannot reclaim VAT on these goods;

  • Goods that you have completely used up before you registered for VAT (e.g. petrol, electricity or gas)
  • Goods that you have already sold or supplied before being VAT registered
  • Goods that relate to supplies you make that are exempt from VAT

You can reclaim VAT on services you bought during the 6 months before you registered for VAT if the following conditions are met;

  • The services were bought by you as the entity
  • The services are for your VAT taxable business purposes

You cannot reclaim VAT on these services;

  • Services that relate to goods you disposed of before you were VAT registered
  • Services that relate to goods or services you supplied that are exempt from VAT

If you want to claim pre-registration VAT on goods and services you must have a valid VAT invoice or receipt for each item.

If you require any assistance with the calculation of pre-registration VAT for the completion of the online VAT form, our VAT team will be happy to help you.

Find out more about VAT 

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