How to register with HMRC and file your VAT return online

If you want to register for VAT you can do this online.

Which website?

Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

Click 'HMRC services: sign in or register' (from the top of the list).

1) New users who already have a Goverment Gateway ID

  • Sign in.
  • In the Main Menu, under ‘Your HMRC services’ select ‘Register for HMRC taxes’.
  • Follow the
    instructions on screen to complete your VAT registration application.

2) New users who do NOT have a Government Gateway ID

  • Select ‘Don’t have a Government Gateway account’ underneath ‘Problems signing in’.
  • Follow the instructions to create your new account (it means ID) you will need to create and remember a password and then you are given a long number (your Government Gateway ID).
  • No activation key is needed, although you will have to activate an email later on.
  • Write down your ID and click "next".
  • You should see a menu option 'Register for HMRC taxes'. Follow the instructions on screen to complete your VAT registration application.

VAT registration

You need to have all your own and your business' details, including Unique Tax Reference numbers.

How to file VAT returns online

Go to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs

Click 'HMRC services: sign in or register' (from the top of the list): you can use the ID number given and your password which you selected when you registered.

Select 'Services you can use' and access the VAT service.

You are given these options:

  • Set up a direct debit for VAT payments (if you want to)
  • Make a VAT return
  • Change registration details

Click on the one you need.

Top tip: If a screen says: “To activate Online Services, please visit the Government Gateway “. Ignore this advice, as it just takes you in a loop back to www.hmrc.gov.uk.

Related content: Guide for tax agents (how to register yourself and link to your client)

“Tax-geek” is an occasional series which features known “cheats” to make a tax agent’s life easier. Register to receive Nichola's FREE SME tax news updates or subscribe to the Practical Tax Database.

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