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The Latest on the Flat Rate and Other VAT Schemes (PDF)

A Tips & Advice Special Report about...

In a nutshell

This Special Report brings together key information about VAT schemes. It explains who the schemes are for, how they work as well as their pros and cons. You’ll learn how to fully exploit the VAT schemes to minimise admin and even reduce your VAT bill.

In detail

Navigating the VAT legislation is a minefield. However, there are special schemes that can reduce costs and even save you money.

This Special Report tells you what schemes are available and how to use them to your advantage. It provides you with the latest information on:

  • Voluntary schemes such as the flat rate, annual accounting, retail and many more
  • Mandatory schemes such as the capital goods
  • Which schemes you can or must use
  • How to join and leave a scheme
  • The pros and cons of each

In simple language and with clear examples, this Special Report explains how to make the most of VAT schemes to minimise admin and save time and money.

We've created this Tips & Advice Special Report especially for... 

Everyone in business plus VAT advisors that want to:

  • Know how to make the most of the available VAT schemes

You'll get the following free extras with this Tips & Advice Special Report... 

An online service with ready-to-use documents

  • To immediately apply our advice and solutions in practice
  • That you can easily adapt to suit your own requirements

In this Special Report you'll read about...

1. Introduction to VAT

1.1. How does VAT registration work?

1.2. Why would I register voluntarily?

1.3. When do I need to register?

1.4. What do I need to report and when?

2. Flat rate scheme

2.1. What is the flat rate scheme?

2.2. What is the “relevant percentage”?

2.3. Who can use the scheme?

2.4. Are there any specific exclusions?

2.5. Do I need to estimate my future turnover?

2.6. What if my turnover rises?

2.7. What is an associated business?

2.8. Are there any particular points to look out for?

2.9. What are the rules for limited cost traders?

2.10. Who’s affected?

2.11. Can I reclaim any input VAT at all?

2.12. Two relevant percentages could apply - which should I choose?

2.13. I have two distinct business activities - which rate is the correct one?

2.14. How do I join the scheme?

2.15. Can I leave the scheme once I’m registered?

3. Cash accounting scheme

3.1. What is the cash accounting scheme?

3.2. Is my business eligible?

3.3. Do I need to estimate my turnover again?

3.4. Once I register, is everything covered by the scheme?

3.5. Can I use the FRS too?

3.6. What if my turnover increases?

3.7. Is the CAS right for my business?

3.8. When is payment “received” for the purposes of the scheme?

3.9. Are there any other special record keeping requirements?

3.10. How do I join the scheme?

3.11. What about leaving the scheme?

4. Annual accounting scheme

4.1. What is the annual accounting scheme?

4.2. What are the advantages?

4.3. Who can use the scheme?

4.4. Is it suitable for me?

4.5. Can annual accounting be used in conjunction with other schemes?

4.6. How are the instalments calculated, and when are they due?

4.7. Can I use the scheme if I’m partially exempt?

4.8. How do I join the scheme?

4.9. When can I start using the scheme?

4.10. What about leaving the scheme?

5. Margin schemes

5.1. What is a margin scheme and is it the same as global accounting?

5.2. How does the margin scheme work?

5.3. Who can use the margin scheme?

5.4. What are eligible goods?

5.5. How do I calculate the margin?

5.6. Are there any specific requirements?

5.7. What is global accounting?

5.8. How does the margin scheme work if I’m selling second-hand vehicles?

5.9. Is the margin calculated in the same way?

5.10. Can I use global accounting for second-hand vehicles?

5.11. Can I the use the scheme as a second-hand horse or pony dealer?

5.12. How do I use the forms?

5.13. What about auctions?

5.14. I am an auctioneer - do I follow any special rules?

5.15. How is the margin calculated?

6. Retail schemes

6.1. What are VAT retail schemes?

6.2. Who can use retail schemes?

6.3. Are there financial or other limits on retail schemes?

6.4. How do I join (or leave) a retail scheme?

6.5. What are the different types of scheme?

6.6. Can I use more than one type of retail scheme at the same time?

6.7. How do I change to a different retail scheme?

6.8. How does the point of sale (POS) scheme work?

6.9. How do I work out my DGT?

6.10. What are the apportionment schemes?

6.11. How does APP 1 work?

6.12. What types of sale can’t you use APP 1 for?

6.13. How does APP 2 work?

6.14. How do I work out the APP 2 ratio?

6.15. What are direct calculation schemes?

6.16. How does DCS 1 work?

6.17. How does DCS 2 work?

6.18. What are bespoke retail schemes?

7. Business promotion schemes

7.1. What are business promotion schemes?

7.2. Who can use promotion schemes?

7.3. How does VAT apply to business gifts?

7.4. If I give to different people in the same business, how does the £50 limit apply?

7.5. How do I account for VAT on discount schemes?

7.6. How do I account for VAT on a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) scheme?

7.7. What if a different VAT rate applies to the free or discounted item?

7.8. What is the linked supply concession?

7.9. What if a different business provides the linked item?

7.10. Are there VAT timing issues for discounts?

7.11. What’s the VAT position on money-off coupons?

7.12. What’s the VAT position on cashback schemes?

7.13. What’s the VAT position on face value vouchers?

7.14. What’s the VAT position for loyalty and store cards?

7.15. What the VAT position for lottery schemes?

7.16. What’s the VAT position for “dealer loader schemes”?

7.17. What’s the VAT position for low value trade-in schemes?

8. Capital goods scheme

8.1. What is the capital goods scheme (CGS)?

8.2. What goods are covered by the CGS?

8.3. What sort of changes trigger a CGS adjustment?

8.4. How do I adjust input tax under the CGS?

8.5. What are the adjustment periods?

8.6. When should I make CGS adjustments?

8.7. What happens if I sell an asset covered by the CGS?

8.8. Are there CGS anti-avoidance rules?

8.9. Can shorter CGS periods apply?

9. Agricultural flat rate scheme

9.1. What is the agricultural flat rate scheme (AFRS)?

9.2. Who can use the scheme?

9.3. How do I register for the scheme?

9.4. Can I leave the scheme?

9.5. How does the scheme work?

10. Special methods for barristers’ chambers

10.1. What are the special methods for barristers’ chambers?

10.2. Who can use the special methods?

10.3. How does each special method work?

10.4. Can I change which method I use?

11. Sailaway boat scheme

11.1. What is the sailaway boat scheme and how does it work?

11.2. What counts as a “sailaway boat”?

11.3. When can I use the scheme?

11.4. What must I do before I supply the boat?

11.5. What steps must I take at the time of sale?

11.6. What forms have to be used?

12. Appendices

12.1. Appendix A - VAT invoice checklist

12.2. Appendix B - Flat rate scheme percentages

12.3. Appendix C - Relevant goods

12.4. Appendix D - Legal definitions

12.5. Appendix E - Point of sale scheme

12.6. Appendix F - Apportionment scheme 1

12.7. Appendix G - Apportionment scheme 2

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