How do I register for Online VAT returns?

How do I register for Online VAT returns?

Register and enrol to use VAT Online

The first step is to register with HMRC’s Online Services and enrol for VAT Online.

Before you start, make sure you have the following pieces of information:

  1. Your VAT registration number
  2. The postcode of your principal place of business (as shown on your VAT4 certificate of registration)
  3. The effective date of registration for VAT
  4. The final month of the last VAT Return you submitted
  5. The 'Box 5' figure from the last VAT Return you submitted

If you have recently registered for VAT and have not yet submitted a return you will need to select N/A for the 'final month of last VAT return submitted' and enter 0.00 (zero) for the 'Box 5' figure on last VAT Return submitted.

If you do not have any of these details, telephone the VAT Online Services Helpdesk on 0300 2003700.

Once you have all this information, go to www.gateway.gov.uk, select ‘Register as an Individual’ then click ‘Register’. Enter your name, email address and set a password on the form, as shown below.

All VAT returns must now be submitted on line and the VAT paid by one of the various electronic methods.

Once you have submitted the form, you will be given a Government Gateway User ID, eg

This is the User ID you will need to log on in order to file VAT returns online. Make sure you print, or make a copy of this number. After enrolling for a service, you should also receive a letter containing a User ID card similar to the one shown above.

At the next screen, select ‘Submit VAT Returns’ from the list of available services, then choose ‘Continue’. The next screen is where you enter your VAT registration details:

After entering your details on this screen, you will need to confirm your User ID and password to complete the enrolment process. You will be able to submit VAT returns online as soon as you have registered and enrolled.

Paying by online Direct Debit

We also recommend setting up a Direct Debit for your VAT payment. If you submit your return on time, HMRC will collect payment automatically from your bank account on the third working day after the online filing deadline.

You must set up your Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) before you submit your next return and at least three bank working days before the return is due. For example, if your return is due on Tuesday 7 September, three bank working days before this is Thursday 2 September. If your return is due in less than three bank working days the Direct Debit won't take effect and - for that return only - you must pay by a different electronic method. The due date for your return is shown on the screen where you enter your return figures.

See also "How to submit a VAT return online".

This answer was last checked May 2017. This answer is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important in your case. You should not rely on this answer without taking individual advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of release.