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New Businesses Facing Delays in VAT Registration Process


Despite the HMRC claiming that a VAT registration application is typically turned around within two weeks, new businesses are reportedly experiencing lengthy delays. UK business owners are now worried that they are facing yet another obstacle, in these uncertain financial times.

One such business owner recently told the Financial Mail that after registering his company for VAT in April 2009 he was informed that there would be a six week wait due to a processing backlog. Despite chasing up the application on numerous occasions, he did not receive his registration until last week – almost 5 months later.

Kevin Kinsella of Kinsella Tax Investigations, one of the UK’s foremost HMRC tax investigation specialists, notes that, “If the HMRC are leaving our clients waiting for 3-5 months, this could cause a great deal of aggravation later on.”

“It used to be satisfactory to issue a VAT invoice with the words ‘VAT applied for’ but that is not really a VAT invoice, which again could cause problems if there was an investigation by HMRC.”

Accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young have also warned that if firms have to wait for VAT registration numbers, their ability to trade can be harshly restricted; not good news during a financial downturn.

A source at UHY Hacker Young said “The backlog at Revenue and Customs has never been worse, despite assurances over the past few years that the issue was being resolved. These delays are causing serious problems for small business trying to set up in a tough environment and are hampering wider economic recovery.”

A spokesman for HMRC denied there were extensive problems, still stating that, on average, it takes just two weeks to process a VAT application. However, he did admit that HMRC was taking an observant approach to applications in the light of an increased number of fraudulent applications in recent years.

Kinsella Tax Limited has over 120 years’ experience of the tax investigation industry and operates nationwide. For more information, visit their website at:


 VAT Investigations
 VAT Registration Process
 Tax Investigation Service
 VAT Registration
 VAT Registration Delays

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