Good news! You can still reclaim (or claim) VAT for a period of time after you deregister for VAT. You might be able to:
Reclaim VAT you paid (input tax) on goods
Reclaim input tax on services
Claim VAT relief on the VAT you charge to customers if they don’t pay
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What can I reclaim after deregistering for VAT, and when?
There are time limits for how long you can claim after cancelling your registration, which depend on what your claim is for.
Reclaiming VAT you pay on purchases
As long as you haven’t already claimed it on a previous VAT return, you can reclaim the VAT you paid on eligible purchases while you were VAT registered.
The deadline to claim: A maximum of 4 years from the return which covers the date your claim relates to.
Reclaim VAT paid on services
You can reclaim the VAT that you paid on services (but not goods) which were supplied after cancelling your VAT registration, as long as they relate to your taxable activities. Solicitor’s fees are a good example of this.
The deadline to claim: A maximum of 4 years from the date it was incurred.
Claim VAT relief on debts identified after deregistering for VAT
There may be times that you account for VAT on sales, but don’t actually receive any payment from the customer. If this reaches a point where you need to write the amount off as a bad debt, you can normally claim relief on the VAT that you paid to HMRC from the sale. If you identify a sale as a bad debt after cancelling your VAT registration, you can sometimes still claim relief.
It’s worth noting that if the debt ends up being paid at a later date, you will need to pay the VAT back to HMRC!
The deadline to claim: A maximum of 4 years and 6 months from the date the relief became claimable.
How do I claim back VAT after cancelling my registration?
Once you deregister for VAT and make your final VAT submission, you can reclaim or claim VAT relief using a VAT427 form.
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About The Author
I'm an experienced and fully AAT and ACCA qualified accountant, who is enthusiastic about helping business owners succeed. I also love cooking and needlepoint (at different times!). Learn more about Beth.