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How to Add Vat to A Price in 2024? The Simple Formula

Updated: Jun 28

In the UK, the current VAT rates are as follows: the standard rate is 20%, which applies to most goods and services. There is a reduced rate of 5% for some goods and services, such as children’s car seats and home energy. Additionally, a zero rate of 0% applies to zero-rated goods and services, including most food and children’s clothes. Some items are exempt from VAT, like postage stamps and financial transactions.

The current standard VAT rate in the UK for the year 2024/25 is still 20%. Therefore, to add VAT to a price, you would use the same formula: Price with VAT = Original Price + (Original Price * VAT Rate).

So for a product that costs £100, the VAT would be £100 * 20% = £20. Therefore, the price including VAT would be £100 + £20 = £120.

How to Add Vat to A Price?

Calculator to Add VAT to a Price with Regular VAT Rate 20%

Calculator to Add VAT to a Price with Regular VAT Rate 20%

How to Add VAT to a Price in the UK - A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Understanding VAT: Value Added Tax (VAT) is a form of consumption tax levied on goods and services in the UK. It is charged at various rates depending on the type of goods or services. As of 2024, the standard VAT rate is 20%​. In practice, this means that for most goods and services, 20% of the original price is added as VAT.

  2. Identify the Original Price: The first step in adding VAT to a price is to identify the original price of the product or service. This is the price before VAT is added. It's important to note that this price should be the 'net' price, that is, the price excluding any taxes.

  3. Calculate the VAT: Once you have the original price, you can calculate the VAT. Multiply the original price by the VAT rate. For example, if you have a product that costs £100, you would multiply £100 by 20% (or 0.20 in decimal form) to get £20. This £20 represents the VAT that is added to the original price.

  4. Add the VAT to the Original Price: After calculating the VAT, add it to the original price to get the total price, including VAT. Continuing the example above, you would add the £20 VAT to the £100 original price to get a total price of £120.

  5. Check the Calculation: It's always a good idea to double-check your calculations to make sure they're correct. In this case, ensure that the VAT has been correctly calculated and added to the original price.

  6. Apply the Calculation to Different Prices: Once you understand how to add VAT to a price, you can apply this process to different prices. Remember, the VAT rate is the same (20%), but the amount of VAT will change depending on the original price.

  7. Consider VAT Exemptions and Reduced Rates: Some goods and services in the UK are charged at a reduced VAT rate of 5%, while others are exempt from VAT altogether. If the product or service you're pricing falls into one of these categories, you'll need to use the appropriate VAT rate.

  8. Stay Up-to-date with VAT Rates: VAT rates can change, so it's important to stay up-to-date with the current rates. The UK government's official website is a reliable source for this information.

In conclusion, adding VAT to a price in the UK involves understanding what VAT is, identifying the original price, calculating the VAT, adding it to the original price, and checking your calculations. By following these steps, you can accurately add VAT to any price.

Case Study: Adding VAT to Prices with Different VAT Rates in the UK

In the United Kingdom, Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a critical component of most commercial transactions. The standard rate of VAT is 20%, but there are also reduced rates and exemptions for certain goods and services​1​. This case study will illustrate how to add VAT to different prices using different VAT rates.

Case Study: John's Hardware Store

John runs a hardware store in London. His store sells a variety of goods, some of which are subject to the standard VAT rate of 20%, while others are subject to a reduced rate of 5%. Let's explore how John adds VAT to his prices.

Standard Rate VAT: Power Tools

John sells power tools, which are subject to the standard VAT rate of 20%. A particular drill is priced at £100 excluding VAT. To calculate the VAT, John multiplies the original price by the VAT rate (£100 * 20% = £20). He then adds this £20 to the original price to get the total price including VAT (£100 + £20 = £120). So, the drill is sold for £120 including VAT.

Reduced Rate VAT: Energy-saving Appliances

John also sells energy-saving appliances, which are subject to a reduced VAT rate of 5%. A specific energy-efficient light bulb is priced at £10 excluding VAT. John calculates the VAT by multiplying the original price by the reduced VAT rate (£10 * 5% = £0.50). He then adds this £0.50 to the original price to get the total price including VAT (£10 + £0.50 = £10.50). Therefore, the light bulb is sold for £10.50 including VAT.

Exempt from VAT: Books

Finally, John sells books in his hardware store, which are exempt from VAT. This means that no VAT is added to the price of the books. If a book is priced at £15, that is the final price customers will pay.

This case study has demonstrated how to add VAT to prices at different VAT rates. It's crucial to remember that the type of goods or services you sell determines the VAT rate that applies. In John's hardware store, power tools are subject to the standard rate of 20%, energy-saving appliances have a reduced rate of 5%, and books are exempt from VAT.

Also, it's important to stay updated on changes in VAT rates, as they can change due to economic conditions or changes in government policy. The UK government's official website is a reliable source for this information.

What Are the Common Mistakes People Make While Adding VAT to Prices?

Adding Value Added Tax (VAT) to prices can be a complex task, especially for individuals who are new to business or unfamiliar with UK tax laws. Here are some common mistakes that people often make:

  1. Misunderstanding VAT Rates: As of 2024, the standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%, but there are also reduced rates of 5% or even 0% for certain goods and services. One common mistake is applying the wrong VAT rate to a product or service.

  2. Incorrect Calculations: Some people may calculate the VAT incorrectly. The correct way to calculate VAT is to multiply the original price by the VAT rate. The result is then added to the original price to get the total price including VAT.

  3. Not Understanding Exemptions: Some goods and services are exempt from VAT or are zero-rated. This means that no VAT is charged on these items. Misunderstanding these rules can lead to incorrect application of VAT.

  4. Not Keeping Up with Changes: VAT rates can change, and it's important to keep up-to-date with the current rates. Failing to do so can result in incorrect calculations.

  5. Assuming VAT is Included in the Price: Some business owners mistakenly assume that the price they've set for their product or service already includes VAT when it doesn't. This can lead to undercharging customers and underpaying VAT.

  6. Confusing VAT with Other Taxes: VAT is a specific type of tax and should not be confused with other types of taxes, such as income tax or corporation tax.

  7. Not Registering for VAT When Required: If a business's taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold, it must register for VAT. Failure to do so can result in penalties.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure that VAT is calculated and applied correctly. It's also important to note that rules and rates can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the business and the nature of the goods or services being sold. Consulting with a tax professional or the UK government's official resources can provide more accurate and tailored advice.

What is a "Double VAT" Mistake and How to Avoid It?

The "double VAT" mistake refers to the error of calculating and adding VAT to a price that already includes VAT. This error effectively means you are charging VAT twice, which can lead to overcharging customers and potentially overpaying VAT to the tax authorities.

Here's how to avoid the double VAT mistake:

  1. Understand the difference between gross and net prices: The net price is the price before VAT is added, while the gross price is the price after VAT is added. Make sure you understand which price you're working with before calculating VAT.

  2. Check if VAT has already been added: Before adding VAT to a price, check if VAT has already been added. If you're unsure, ask the supplier or check the invoice. Invoices should clearly state whether VAT has been included in the price.

  3. Use the correct formula: If you have a price including VAT (gross price) and you want to find out the net price (excluding VAT), you need to divide the gross price by 1 plus the VAT rate. For example, with a 20% VAT rate, divide the gross price by 1.20 to get the net price.

  4. Keep accurate records: Keep clear and accurate records of all transactions, including the prices of goods or services before and after VAT. This will make it easier to check if VAT has been correctly calculated and applied.

  5. Seek professional advice: If you're unsure about how to correctly calculate and apply VAT, consider seeking advice from a tax professional or accountant. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help ensure you're complying with all relevant tax laws.

By following these steps, you can avoid the double VAT mistake and ensure that VAT is correctly calculated and applied to your prices.

Understanding how to correctly add VAT to prices is not just about maintaining compliance with tax laws. It is also about providing clear and accurate pricing information to customers. John's Hardware Store, like any other business, thrives on customer trust and satisfaction, which is bolstered by transparent pricing that includes the correct VAT.

In conclusion, adding VAT to a price in the UK involves understanding the VAT system, knowing the VAT rate for the product or service, calculating the VAT based on the original price, and adding it to the original price. By following these steps, businesses like John's can ensure they are pricing their goods and services accurately and fairly.

VAT Rules Update in the UK 2024

The VAT landscape in the UK is set to experience several significant changes in 2024, affecting various sectors and bringing new compliance requirements for businesses. These updates span across legislative adjustments, policy changes, and the introduction of new schemes aimed at both facilitating trade and enhancing tax collection efficiency. Here's a comprehensive overview of the key VAT rules update for 2024 in the UK:

Key Legislative and Policy Changes

  • Extension of VAT Zero Rate on Women's Sanitary Products: From January 2024, the zero-rate VAT relief on women's sanitary products will be extended to include reusable period underwear, subject to certain qualification criteria.

  • REULA – Finance Act 2024: The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (REULA) will impact the interpretation of VAT and excise legislation from 1 January 2024, ending the supremacy of retained EU law and confirming that UK VAT and excise legislation can no longer be disapplied due to incompatibility with retained EU law.

  • Customs Duty Waiver Scheme: The maximum value of duties that can be waived for 'at-risk' goods moved into Northern Ireland from Great Britain will increase in January 2024.

  • Changes to Health Certification and Customs Regime: Significant changes to the health certification for certain products and the customs regime for goods moving directly to Great Britain from Ireland will take effect from 31 January 2024.

  • Energy Saving Materials: The government will extend zero-rated relief for certain energy-saving materials, including battery storage and water-source heat pumps, with further relief for necessary groundworks in heat pump installations.

  • Customs Declaration Service (CDS) Exports Timeline: The CDS is scheduled to replace the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system from 30 March 2024.

  • Plastic Packaging Tax Increase: Effective from 1 April 2024, the Plastic Packaging Tax rate will rise, impacting businesses involved in the production and import of plastic packaging.

  • VAT Margin Scheme for Cars in Northern Ireland: After 30 April 2024, the VAT margin scheme will no longer apply to motor vehicles sold in Northern Ireland, requiring VAT to be accounted for on the full selling price.

  • Windsor Framework Milestones: Throughout 2024, various milestones of the Windsor Framework will be introduced, affecting trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including safety, security declarations, and a simplified import regime by November 2024.

Other Notable Developments

  • Late Payment Penalties: A new system for late payment penalties will fully come into effect from 1 January 2024, requiring businesses to pay VAT or set up Time To Pay arrangements within 15 days of the due date to avoid penalties.

  • VAT Fuel Scale Charge Rates Update: From 1 May 2024, updated VAT Fuel Scale Charge rates for cars will be applied for VAT return periods beginning on or after this date.

VAT Rates and General Compliance

The standard VAT rate remains at 20%, with reduced rates of 5% and 0% applicable to certain goods and services. The VAT registration threshold is set at £85,000. Businesses must adhere to compliance requirements, including VAT returns filing, invoice issuance, and maintaining records in accordance with Making Tax Digital (MTD) mandates.

Implications for Businesses

Businesses must prepare for these changes by reviewing their VAT compliance processes, especially those trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, importing goods into the EU, or involved in the supply of energy-saving materials. The extension of various reliefs and the introduction of new reporting requirements underlines the need for proactive planning to navigate the evolving VAT landscape effectively.

For detailed guidance and to ensure compliance with the new VAT rules, businesses should consult with tax professionals and refer to official resources provided by HMRC and tax advisory firms.

How a Tax Accountant in the UK Can Help Your Businesses With VAT Management

Navigating the complexities of Value Added Tax (VAT) can be a daunting task for businesses in the UK. With the ever-evolving tax legislation and compliance requirements, the role of a tax accountant, such as those working at Pro Tax Accountant, becomes invaluable. These professionals offer a wide range of services designed to simplify VAT management, ensuring that businesses not only comply with current regulations but also optimize their tax positions. Here's how a tax accountant can assist businesses with VAT management in the UK:

Ensuring Compliance

Staying Up-to-Date with Legislation: VAT laws in the UK frequently change, as seen with the 2024 updates involving adjustments in rates, thresholds, and policies affecting various sectors. Tax accountants keep abreast of these changes, ensuring your business adheres to the latest regulations, thus avoiding penalties for non-compliance.

Accurate VAT Returns: Filing VAT returns correctly and on time is crucial. A tax accountant ensures that all transactions are accurately recorded and reported, leveraging their expertise to navigate complex areas such as partial exemption calculations and reverse charge mechanisms.

Strategic Planning and Advisory

VAT Planning: Effective VAT planning can result in significant cash flow benefits. Tax accountants provide strategic advice on structuring transactions, supply chain arrangements, and business models in a manner that minimizes VAT liability while remaining compliant with the law.

Advisory on Transactions: Whether it’s domestic trade or international transactions, tax accountants analyze the VAT implications, advising on the most tax-efficient way to conduct business. This includes guidance on cross-border transactions, which may involve intricate VAT rules post-Brexit.

Handling VAT Investigations and Disputes

Representation in Disputes: Should HMRC query or investigate your VAT affairs, having a tax accountant by your side can be a game-changer. They can represent your business in discussions with HMRC, leveraging their technical knowledge and negotiation skills to resolve disputes efficiently.

Compliance Checks and Audits: Tax accountants can conduct pre-emptive audits of your VAT records to identify and rectify any inaccuracies or inconsistencies before they become issues with HMRC, significantly reducing the risk of penalties.

Maximizing VAT Recovery

Identifying Recoverable VAT: A tax accountant can help businesses identify opportunities to recover VAT on expenses, a task that many businesses find challenging. This includes understanding the nuances of input VAT recovery rules and the capital goods scheme to maximize VAT recovery.

VAT Scheme Optimization: With various VAT schemes available (e.g., flat rate, cash accounting), a tax accountant can advise on the most suitable scheme for your business, optimizing VAT payments and administrative burdens.

Training and Support

In-House Training: Understanding VAT can empower businesses to manage their day-to-day operations more effectively. Tax accountants often provide training for in-house teams, enhancing their understanding of VAT principles and compliance requirements.

Ongoing Support and Advice: Beyond handling periodic VAT returns and compliance checks, tax accountants offer ongoing support, answering queries and providing advice on VAT-related matters as they arise in the course of business.

Digital and Technological Solutions

Making Tax Digital (MTD) Compliance: With VAT returns now required to be submitted through HMRC's MTD service, tax accountants ensure businesses are compliant with digital record-keeping and filing requirements, advising on compatible software solutions and processes.

In the dynamic and complex landscape of UK VAT, the expertise of a tax accountant is invaluable. From ensuring compliance and strategic planning to dispute resolution and maximizing VAT recovery, these professionals provide comprehensive support to businesses. By partnering with a tax accountant like those at Pro Tax Accountant, businesses can navigate VAT management efficiently, freeing up valuable resources to focus on growth and operations.


Q: How can I determine if a product or service is eligible for a reduced VAT rate or is VAT-exempt?

A: To determine if a product or service is eligible for a reduced VAT rate or is VAT-exempt, you should consult the official HMRC guidelines or seek advice from a tax professional. The eligibility criteria are based on specific product categories and services defined by tax laws.

2. Q: What steps should I take if I accidentally charge the wrong VAT rate to my customers?

A: If you've charged the wrong VAT rate, you should issue a corrected invoice to your customers and adjust your VAT records accordingly. It may also be necessary to adjust your VAT payment to HMRC if you've underpaid or overpaid as a result.

3. Q: Can I claim VAT back on business expenses if I'm not VAT-registered?

A: If you are not VAT-registered, you cannot reclaim VAT on business expenses. VAT recovery is only available to businesses that are registered for VAT.

4. Q: How do VAT rates for digital services differ from physical goods?

A: VAT rates for digital services may differ due to the place of supply rules. For services supplied to consumers in the EU, VAT is charged at the rate of the consumer's country. For physical goods, VAT is charged based on the rate applicable in the seller's country, unless the distance selling threshold is exceeded.

5. Q: What documentation is required to support VAT exemptions or reductions?

A: To support VAT exemptions or reductions, you need to keep records that justify the VAT status of your sales, such as proof of eligibility for reduced rates or exemptions, and documentation of customer status for zero-rated sales.

6. Q: How do I handle VAT if I sell goods or services to customers outside the UK?

A: For goods or services sold to customers outside the UK, VAT is generally not charged, but you must keep evidence of export or proof of supply to customers abroad. The rules may vary for services depending on the place of supply.

7. Q: Are there any VAT implications for importing goods into the UK?

A: When importing goods into the UK, VAT is typically due at the point of importation along with any customs duties. The VAT can often be reclaimed by VAT-registered businesses on their VAT return, subject to normal rules on VAT recovery.

8. Q: Can I apply for a VAT refund if my business is based outside the UK?

A: Businesses based outside the UK can apply for a VAT refund under certain conditions, mainly if they are not required to be VAT-registered in the UK and do not make any taxable supplies in the UK.

9. Q: How do I adjust my pricing strategy to account for VAT changes?

A: To adjust your pricing strategy for VAT changes, consider whether to absorb the VAT cost change or pass it on to customers. Analyze the impact on your pricing competitiveness and profit margins, and communicate any price changes clearly to customers.

10. Q: What are the consequences of failing to register for VAT when required?

A: Failing to register for VAT when required can result in penalties, including fines and interest on the VAT due from the date you should have registered. It may also lead to a compulsory VAT registration by HMRC.

11. Q: How does VAT affect cash flow for small businesses?

A: VAT can affect cash flow by requiring upfront payment of VAT on sales before VAT on purchases is reclaimed. Cash accounting schemes can help by allowing VAT payment upon receipt of payment from customers.

12. Q: What are the key differences between the Flat Rate VAT scheme and the Standard VAT accounting?

A: The Flat Rate VAT scheme simplifies record-keeping by applying a fixed rate of VAT to turnover, while the Standard VAT accounting involves calculating VAT on each transaction. The Flat Rate scheme may save time but could result in paying more or less VAT than under Standard VAT accounting.

13. Q: Can I voluntarily register for VAT even if my turnover is below the threshold?

A: Yes, you can voluntarily register for VAT even if your turnover is below the compulsory registration threshold. This might be beneficial for reclaiming VAT on business expenses or if you primarily sell to VAT-registered businesses.

14. Q: How do I correct a mistake on a previous VAT return?

A: To correct a mistake on a previous VAT return, if the net error is below a certain threshold, you can adjust it in yournext VAT return (subject to certain conditions) or submit a formal correction to HMRC for larger errors. You should consult HMRC's guidelines for the specific thresholds and procedures.

15. Q: Is there a deadline for submitting VAT returns and payments?

A: Yes, VAT returns and any payment due to HMRC are typically due one month and seven days after the end of the VAT period. Late submission or payment can result in penalties.

16. Q: How do Making Tax Digital (MTD) regulations affect VAT filing?

A: Making Tax Digital (MTD) requires VAT-registered businesses above the VAT threshold to keep digital records and submit VAT returns using compatible software. This aims to make tax administration more efficient and easier for taxpayers to get their tax right.

17. Q: What are the implications of Brexit on VAT for UK businesses trading with the EU?

A: Post-Brexit, UK businesses trading with the EU may face changes in VAT treatment for imports and exports, including the need to register for VAT in EU member states or comply with new VAT accounting schemes.

18. Q: How can I claim VAT relief on bad debts?

A: VAT-registered businesses can claim relief on bad debts if certain conditions are met, including waiting for a specific period after the debt becomes overdue. Detailed records must be kept to support the claim.

19. Q: What is the VAT threshold for 2024?

A: The VAT registration threshold is subject to change and should be verified directly with HMRC or through the latest government finance legislation updates for the most current threshold.

20. Q: How do I deregister for VAT?

A: To deregister for VAT, you must apply to HMRC, either online or by post, if your business stops making taxable supplies, closes, or if your taxable turnover falls below the deregistration threshold. HMRC will confirm your deregistration and the date it takes effect.


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