In Inspired By Service Limited v HMRC [2016] TC 05537 a request to backdate cancellation of a voluntary VAT registration was denied.

  • The taxpayer opened a café business in 2011.
  • Although their turnover never exceeded the threshold, they made a voluntary VAT registration following incorrect advice from their advisers.
  • The company’s new advisers applied to cancel the registration and asked for this to be backdated to the time of the original registration.

The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) agreed with HMRC that the cancellation could not be backdated:

  • Cancellation can only be backdated if the taxable person was not ‘registerable’ at the date of registration.
  • The taxpayer was entitled to be registered at the time of the registration as they were in business and making taxable supplies.

The taxpayer’s appeal was dismissed.


Specific conditions attach to deregistration and it may be possible in different circumstances to back-date. For further details see subscriber guides VAT: deregistration and Registering for VAT


Case reference: Inspired By Service Limited v HMRC [2016] TC 05537