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What Is a VAT427 Form ?

Introduction to VAT427 Form and Its Purpose

The VAT427 form is a crucial document for UK businesses that have cancelled their VAT registration. This form is used to reclaim VAT (Value Added Tax) or claim VAT relief post-deregistration. Understanding the VAT427 form is essential for any UK taxpayer, particularly those in business, as it pertains to the recovery of VAT on purchases made while VAT registered and certain services bought after deregistration.

What Is a VAT427 Form

Purpose and Use of VAT427

  • Reclaiming Input Tax: VAT paid on purchases during VAT registration can be reclaimed using the VAT427 form. This is known as input tax.

  • Claiming VAT Relief on Services Post-Deregistration: VAT paid on specific services acquired after cancelling VAT registration can also be reclaimed.

  • Bad Debt Relief: If you identify bad debts after deregistration, you can get relief on the VAT paid to HMRC (output tax) on these debts​​​​​​.

Filing the Form

  • The VAT427 form can be completed online but must be printed and sent to HMRC with the necessary documentation, such as original invoices.

  • All the information must be gathered beforehand as a partly completed form cannot be saved. It's essential to fill in the form fully before printing it​​​​​​​​.

Eligibility for Filing VAT427

  • Businesses that have deregistered from VAT can use this form. This includes those who have cancelled their VAT registration voluntarily or those whose registration has been cancelled by HMRC.

  • It's important to note that the business must have been VAT registered to use this form.

Situations for Using VAT427

  • Bad Debt Relief: Businesses can claim bad debt relief for debts identified as bad after VAT deregistration. This claim is based on the six-month rule and requires the bad debts to be written off in the business's accounts. The claim involves the full output tax of 20% shown on the sales invoice(s).

  • Late Purchase Invoices: The form allows for the reclaim of VAT on late purchase invoices received after the final VAT return submission, particularly those dated on the last day of VAT registration.

  • Post-Deregistration Purchases: Invoices dated after deregistration but relating to the period before deregistration can also be included in the claim. This is particularly relevant for businesses that were part of the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS)​​​​​​.

Time Limits and Restrictions

  • The time limit for bad debt relief claims is four years and six months from the date when the relief first became claimable.

  • It's crucial to understand the restrictions on input tax claims, especially for businesses that were part of the FRS. For instance, only expenses dated on the last day of VAT registration can be claimed due to input tax restrictions applicable to earlier dates​​.

Record Keeping

  • Maintaining accurate and comprehensive records is vital for filing the VAT427 form. This includes keeping original purchase invoices and records of bad debts.

  • Businesses should ensure that they have all necessary documentation before starting to fill out the form​​.

Reasons for Deregistration and Reclaiming VAT

Possible Reasons for Deregistration from VAT in the UK

Value Added Tax (VAT) deregistration in the UK is a significant event for any business, indicating a change in its operational or financial status. Understanding the reasons behind VAT deregistration is essential for businesses to make informed decisions. This article explores the various reasons why businesses might choose or be required to deregister from VAT in the UK.

1. Decrease in Taxable Turnover:

  • Falling Below Threshold: One of the most common reasons for VAT deregistration is when a business's taxable turnover falls below the VAT deregistration threshold. This can happen due to a reduction in sales, loss of major clients, or a strategic shift in the business model.

  • Future Projections: If a business anticipates that its turnover will remain below the threshold in the coming 12 months, it may choose to deregister. This projection must be reasonable and justifiable.

2. Change in Business Structure or Ownership:

  • Sale of Business: When a business is sold, the new owner might not wish to continue with VAT registration, leading to deregistration.

  • Restructuring: Major restructuring, such as merging with another company or splitting into different entities, can necessitate deregistration, especially if the new structure does not meet VAT registration criteria.

3. Shift in Business Model:

  • Non-VATable Goods or Services: If a business shifts its focus to goods or services that are exempt from VAT or outside the scope of VAT, it may no longer need to be VAT registered.

  • Export Oriented Business: Businesses focusing predominantly on exports (which are zero-rated for VAT) might find VAT registration unnecessary, as they would mostly be reclaiming VAT without charging it.

4. Cessation of Trading:

  • Business Closure: If a business ceases to trade, VAT deregistration becomes necessary. This could be due to retirement, insolvency, or other operational reasons.

  • Making the Business Dormant: Sometimes, businesses may become dormant temporarily, during which they may choose to deregister from VAT.

5. Voluntary Deregistration for Simplification:

  • Reducing Administrative Burden: For smaller businesses, the administrative burden of VAT compliance can be significant. Deregistering can simplify operations and reduce costs associated with VAT reporting and record-keeping.

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Some businesses may find that the benefits of being VAT registered (such as reclaiming input VAT) do not outweigh the administrative responsibilities and costs.

6. Regulatory Compliance and Changes:

  • Involuntary Deregistration: In some cases, HMRC may cancel a business’s VAT registration if they find that the business should not be VAT registered, for instance, due to fraudulent activities or consistent non-compliance with VAT regulations.

  • Legislative Changes: Changes in VAT laws and thresholds can sometimes lead businesses to reassess their VAT status and opt for deregistration.

7. Personal Reasons:

  • Health or Personal Circumstances: Personal circumstances of the business owner, such as health issues or a change in life priorities, can lead to the decision to deregister from VAT.

8. Strategic Business Decisions:

  • Market Positioning: Some businesses may deregister from VAT to position themselves more competitively in markets where VAT registration is not seen favorably, or their customer base is primarily non-VAT registered entities.

In conclusion, the decision to deregister from VAT in the UK can stem from a variety of reasons, ranging from financial and operational changes to personal and strategic decisions. It's crucial for businesses to carefully consider their circumstances and the implications of deregistration, possibly consulting with financial experts to ensure that the decision aligns with their long-term business goals and compliance requirements.

Reclaiming VAT on Late Invoices

Form VAT 427 enables businesses to claim input tax on goods or services supplied for business purposes while registered, which were not claimed either on normal or final returns. This situation often arises if the necessary evidence, like a VAT invoice, was not available at the time of the final VAT return. Subject to the 3-year limit (4-year limit from 1 April 2010), businesses can claim a repayment of VAT using VAT 427 once they receive the invoices​​.

Reclaiming VAT for Errors Made While Registered

Businesses can use VAT 427 to make a claim for input tax where an error occurred while registered, and a claim wasn't made at the right time despite having proper evidence. Claims must be supported by invoices confirming that the purchases were made before deregistration​.

Claiming VAT on Post-Deregistration Services

VAT on services received after deregistration can also be reclaimed, provided these services relate to business activities while VAT registered. For example, if a business deregisters and later receives a bill for services that relate to the period it was VAT registered, it can still claim the VAT on that bill. These claims are subject to the same 3-year cap (4-year limit from 1 April 2010), starting from the date of the invoice received​.

Submitting the VAT427 Claim

Original documentation, such as invoices and supporting evidence, must be sent with the VAT 427 claim form. There is a centralized team in Liverpool where all completed forms and original documentation should be submitted​.

Practical Tips and Common Challenges

Eligibility for Making a Claim:

  • Businesses can claim VAT on services related to taxable supplies made before deregistration using VAT 427 after submitting their final return​​.

  • Personal expenditure and non-business activities are not eligible for VAT claims​​.

Apportionment and De Minimis Limit:

  • When claiming, partial exemption apportionment must be applied, but there is no de minimis limit. The apportionment percentage used should be the one that applied to the business immediately prior to deregistration​​.

Multiple Claims and Limits:

  • Businesses are not limited to just one claim; however, a new VAT 427 form must be completed for each claim. The claims window ends four years from the deregistration date. Bad debt relief claims and adjustments for input VAT errors can also be made through this route.

  • For errors on previous VAT returns, the VAT 427 form can only be used for errors less than £1,000. Claims for more than this amount must be made on form VAT 652​​.

Completion and Submission of Form:

  • The VAT 427 form can be completed online but must be printed and sent to HMRC along with the original invoices​​.

For further guidance on filling out the VAT427 form, it would be advisable to consult with a tax professional or the HMRC directly. This article aims to provide a general overview and practical insights into the VAT427 form, but specific queries or complex situations may require more personalized advice.

Overall, understanding the VAT427 form is vital for any business that has deregistered from VAT in the UK. By keeping accurate records, understanding the eligibility criteria and limitations, and preparing the necessary documentation, businesses can navigate the process of reclaiming VAT or claiming VAT relief more effectively.

How a VAT Tax Accountant Can Assist with VAT427

How a VAT Tax Accountant Can Assist with VAT427

Navigating the complexities of VAT (Value Added Tax) regulations and forms like VAT427 can be a challenging task for businesses, especially after deregistration. A VAT tax accountant plays a crucial role in this process, offering expert guidance and ensuring compliance. This article explores how a VAT tax accountant can assist businesses with the VAT427 form.

Understanding VAT427 Requirements:

  • Expert Knowledge: A VAT tax accountant has a deep understanding of the VAT system, including the intricacies of the VAT427 form. They can provide clarity on what VAT427 is, its purpose, and the specific circumstances under which it can be used.

  • Eligibility Assessment: They help in determining whether a business is eligible to make a claim using VAT427. This includes assessing the nature of the business's deregistration and identifying the type of expenses that qualify for a claim.

Guidance on Documentation:

  • Accurate Record-Keeping: An accountant ensures that all necessary documents, such as original invoices and evidence of bad debts, are accurately maintained. This is crucial as VAT427 requires submission of original documentation.

  • Documentation Review: Before submitting the VAT427 form, a tax accountant can review all the documents to ensure they meet HMRC's requirements, thereby minimizing the risk of errors and the potential for claims being denied.

Completing and Submitting VAT427:

  • Form Completion: VAT tax accountants are experienced in filling out complex tax forms. They can guide businesses through each section of the VAT427 form, ensuring all information is complete and accurate.

  • Timely Submission: Accountants help in keeping track of important deadlines, such as the four-year window for submitting VAT427 claims, ensuring that businesses do not miss out on potential reimbursements.

Navigating Complex Claims:

  • Handling Complex Situations: Businesses facing complex situations, like claims related to the Flat Rate Scheme or bad debt relief, can benefit significantly from a tax accountant's expertise.

  • Error Rectification: If errors are made in the VAT427 form, accountants can assist in the process of correcting and resubmitting the form to HMRC.

Advice on VAT Planning and Strategy:

  • Future VAT Planning: Beyond assisting with VAT427, accountants can provide strategic advice on VAT planning, helping businesses make informed decisions about VAT registration and deregistration.

  • Regulatory Updates: They keep abreast of changes in VAT legislation and advise on how these changes impact the business, ensuring ongoing compliance with VAT regulations.

Liaising with HMRC:

  • Representation: In situations where there is a dispute or clarification needed with HMRC regarding a VAT427 claim, a tax accountant can act as a representative for the business.

  • Communication: Effective communication with HMRC is key to resolving issues and queries related to VAT427. Accountants possess the necessary skills and experience to handle such communications effectively.

Training and Empowering Businesses:

  • Staff Training: Accountants can also provide training to in-house staff on managing VAT-related tasks, including record-keeping and understanding the basics of VAT427.

  • Empowering Decision Making: By providing insights and clarity on VAT matters, they empower business owners to make informed decisions regarding VAT and related financial matters.

Customized Solutions:

  • Tailored Approach: Every business has unique needs when it comes to VAT. A VAT tax accountant provides customized solutions that cater to the specific requirements of the business.

  • Industry-specific Advice: They offer industry-specific advice, understanding the nuances of different sectors and how they impact VAT claims and compliance.

In conclusion, a VAT tax accountant is an invaluable asset for businesses dealing with the complexities of VAT deregistration and the VAT427 form. Their expertise not only ensures compliance and accuracy in submitting claims but also provides strategic advice for effective VAT management. By leveraging their knowledge and skills, businesses can navigate the VAT landscape with confidence, minimizing risks and maximizing potential financial benefits.

20 Important FAQs About the VAT427 Form

Q1: Can I use VAT427 to claim VAT on goods purchased after deregistration?

A: No, VAT427 is used for claiming VAT on services related to your business before deregistration, not for goods purchased after deregistration.

Q2: Is there a time limit for submitting the VAT427 form?

A: Yes, the window for submitting claims using VAT427 ends four years from the date of VAT deregistration.

Q3: Can I submit VAT427 form electronically?

A: No, the VAT427 form must be completed online, printed, and then posted to HMRC with the necessary documents.

Q4: Can I claim VAT on personal expenses using VAT427?

A: No, VAT on personal expenses or non-business activities cannot be claimed using VAT427.

Q5: Are there any restrictions on the amount of VAT I can claim?

A: Yes, for errors on previous VAT returns, the VAT427 form can only be used for errors less than £1,000. Larger claims must be made on form VAT 652.

Q6: Can I save a partially completed VAT427 form and finish it later?

A: No, the form cannot be saved mid-way through completion, so it's important to gather all information before starting.

Q7: Do I need to submit original invoices with the VAT427 form?

A: Yes, original documentation, such as invoices and supporting evidence, must be sent with the VAT427 claim form.

Q8: Can VAT427 be used by a business that was involuntarily deregistered by HMRC? A: Yes, businesses that were deregistered, either voluntarily or by HMRC, can use VAT427 for eligible claims.

Q9: Can I use VAT427 to adjust for underclaimed VAT from when I was VAT registered? A: Yes, VAT427 allows for adjusting underclaimed input VAT from the period when the business was VAT registered.

Q10: Is there a limit to the number of claims I can make using VAT427?

A: No, there is no limit to the number of claims, but a new VAT427 form must be completed for each claim.

Q11: What happens if I miss the four-year deadline for submitting VAT427? \

A: If you miss the four-year deadline, you may lose the right to claim the VAT relief or reimbursement.

Q12: Can I claim VAT relief on bad debts using VAT427?

A: Yes, businesses can make bad debt relief claims using the VAT427 form.

Q13: How long does it take for a VAT427 claim to be processed by HMRC?

A: Processing times can vary, so it's best to contact HMRC directly for the most current information.

Q14: Can VAT427 be used for claims related to the Flat Rate Scheme (FRS)?

A: Yes, it can be used for claims related to purchases made while under the FRS, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q15: If my business has multiple branches, do I need to file separate VAT427 forms for each?

A: This depends on how your VAT registration was structured. It's advisable to consult with HMRC or a tax professional for guidance specific to your situation.

Q16: Can I use VAT427 to claim VAT on goods I imported while VAT registered?

A: Yes, provided the goods were for business use and meet the eligibility criteria for claiming VAT.

Q17: What if I make an error on the VAT427 form?

A: If you realize an error on your submitted VAT427 form, you should contact HMRC as soon as possible to correct it.

Q18: Can I claim VAT on services received from abroad using VAT427?

A: This depends on the nature of the services and how they relate to your business activities while VAT registered. Consulting with HMRC is advisable.

Q19: Are charities eligible to use VAT427 for VAT claims?

A: Yes, charities that were VAT registered and have deregistered can use VAT427 for eligible claims.

Q20: What documentation is needed to support a bad debt relief claim on VAT427? A: You'll need evidence of the bad debt, such as accounts showing the debt written off and original invoices related to the bad debt.


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