Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor reduced the rates of VAT for the leisure and hospitality sector to just 5%. That reduced rate applied from 15 July 2020 until 30 September 2021 when the rate was increased to the current 12.5%. However, the rate is scheduled to revert to the normal 20% rate from 1 April 2022.
The businesses affected by the temporary rate reduction are those
- supplying catering services including restaurants and takeaways
- operating hotels and providing holiday accommodation and
- operating leisure attractions such as zoos and theme parks
Businesses should listen to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement on 23 March in case he announces an extension of the 12.5% rate.
If there is a change announced on 23 March, there will only be a limited amount of time to implement changes to prices and VAT accounting.
For businesses using the VAT Flat Rate Scheme, the flat rate percentages will revert to the pre 15 July 2020 amounts if the VAT rate reverts to 20% from 1 April 2022.
CHANGES TO ACCOUNTING FOR VAT ON IMPORTS
HMRC have recently updated their guidance for VAT registered importers. These traders must account for postponed import VAT on their VAT returns for the accounting period which covers the date they imported the goods. The normal rules apply for what VAT can be reclaimed as input tax and the trader’s monthly statement will contain the information to support their claim.
HMRC is aware of the problems some importers are having when trying to access their monthly VAT statements. If you cannot access your statement or you’re having problems when viewing your statement, you can estimate your import VAT figures for the months you cannot access statements for. Your estimate should be as accurate as possible, based on the amount you’ve paid for the goods and any other costs you agreed to cover. As long as you take reasonable care to follow the guidance, there will be no penalty for errors.
There are also important changes from 1 June 2022 for small businesses using the Flat Rate Scheme who are importing goods and using postponed VAT accounting.
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