Have you recently registered for VAT? As of Monday, of this week, HMRC have closed the VAT registration helpline – a subsidiary of the VAT helpline – which is dedicated specifically to helping customers who have a concern around their VAT registration application. Advisers from this helpline have been redeployed to spend their time processing VAT registration applications instead of answering calls through the helpline.

As a result HMRC are forcing customers to use online tools. Over 85% of calls to the VAT registration helpline are from customers who want an update on the progress of their applications. HMRC tool ‘Where’s my reply‘  gives an expected response date. HMRC staff are spending most of their time talking to customers about their submitted applications, as this information is already available online – they believe this time can be better used to process those applications instead.

HMRC state that applicants can expect a reply within 40 working days. Those with applications that have been submitted within 40 working days should not contact HMRC.

Those who submitted an application more than 40 working days ago, or are replying to a request for further information (VAT 5),  should use the dedicated email inbox, vrs.newregistrations@hmrc.gov.uk. Applicants who have not received a response to their initial application within 40 working days, who send an email to the above email address will receive a reply to their email within five working days.

If you have any questions on how the closing of the VAT helpline could affect your business, contact Leanne at PGR today on 02890788880.