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Timing of claiming input VAT - have I missed the boat?

Our Limited company became voluntarily VAT registered and immediately went onto the Flat Rate Scheme.

Fast forward 12 months and it’s no longer beneficial for us to remain on the Flat Rate Scheme, so will be moving to Standard VAT accounting WEF 01/07/2019.

On reading the HMRC guidelines, we are able to claim back input VAT on business purchases prior to VAT registration. Are we able to do this on our first Standard VAT return or should it have been done on our “first ever” VAT return - have we missed the boat?


Thanks for the link. The part which concerns me is that is states the claim should be made on “first VAT return” which is now not possible for me.

Do you know if “allowable input VAT” can still be claimed even if it’s not on our first VAT return?

From what my accountant told me it would have to be done on the first return, which that guidance from the HMRC seems to say too. I think you’d need to speak to your accountant or the HMRC if you want to try and claim VAT in a way other than outlined by them.

Your first VAT return was presumably done under the Flat Rate Scheme though? You are unable to claim back input VAT on the scheme therefore you would not have been able to claim back VAT on pre-registration expenses either.