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Helen_A

Help! Anyone know anything about VAT?

I need to sort out a registration, and can't get a straight answer from the revenue...

SO, my query is:

Can I register as an Individual who has more than one trading name? There is *one* bank a/c attached to both trading names. Do I need to have a 'further' trading name to which the Trading Name portion of the form is given, and then hang the other trading names off that?

(other than that, argh at the so-called helpline who can't answer the question and argh!! at the local Business Link whose idea of help is to suggest a local 'agent' who wants a, frankly, nasty-sized cheque for even being asked the question and then expects me to have them do the registration for me and pay them as my tax agent (I don't need one!! these are businesses that deal in zero or 5% items only... I'll be getting money *back* most of the time, and have no plans atm to go and live outside the UK)

Helen_A
Rob R

As far as I know it is the business that is registered for VAT, so if you've got a single set of accounts for both trading names then you are a single business. We just registered our trading name, as a partnership, rather than registering under our own names.
Old-Chads-Orchard

Do you do the books seperatly for each company?
I had a similar issue and now have 1 company which I do accounts for and is registered with all the relavent people which has a couple of trading names. You have to inform the bank so they will accept cheques in the T/A name and thats about it IIRC.
MarkS

agree with the above.

It is the business entity that registers. multiple trading names do not matter as long as they all represent the same underlying business.
Invoices from your trading name should have the real business name on them somewhere with T/A your trade name. your trade name can still be the bit in big letters at the top.

I would make sure that the bank and hmrce are aware of all the trading names used. There is a new rule on vat that all expenses incurred must have the business name on the receipt in order to reclaim the vat (previously an employee could pay for things and then pass the invoice on to the business despite the fact that the receipt would have the employee detials on it)

If you want a straight reply from the hmrce try asking in the context of that new rule (its an EU wide thing) rather than generally. Ask something like 'I have several trading names; do I need to make sure all the bills I get are in the same name and if so what name do I use?'

Also I would recommend accountingweb as very useful. the Q&A section will probably already have an answer to this.
Helen_A

Thank you.

Found *another* helpline no. and that one had a non-numpty on it, phew. Basically I reg as me, and then I can use whatever t/a I'm using for the taxable supply as long as my own name is also on the invoice.

Have done the scary reg thing, on the suggestion of themselves I reg as if a new business from the new tax year, don't know if that is completely right but!!! its new for me *just* being reg as me. Apparently doing it as new helps, especially as I've gritted my teeth and accepted as therefore lost the VAT paid on prior advertising (apparently I could have reclaimed it back for the last 3 years, but as some of the paperwork is buried wrt that its going to be easier to forgo the potential refund Sad ) Have mentioned prior business activities as requested, just couldn't find a category for freelance work!

Erk. I'm now a vat-complient entity!! Got to keep proper books as of the 5th of the month! Anyone know any online tutorials for that form of bookkeeping?

Helen_A
MarkS

Any of the common software packages should do you fine.

I found that they vary in terms of what they are best at so I would strongly recommend that you either - use what your accountant does if you are going to use an accountant (prob sage)
or spend a decent amount of time on each playing with how well they handle your business. stock levels, returns, discounts/sales, etc.
Check that the reporting functions do what you want and will generate output that lets you easily generate your accounts.

Am I correct that sole traders get away with quite simple accounts - you only need a P&L not a balance sheet ?

I did mainly services as a ltd and only the odd bit of specialist hardware so it was easy for me (nobody ever managed to return a days work)
caths

hello Helen

for simple book keeping setting up a spreadsheet in excel is fine and I would be surpirsed if your accountant (if you have one) would not accept that - and there are lots of "book-keeping made simple" books on the market if you need one

personally I find that SAGE is a nightmare and more complicated than it needs to be - the reference manual is of limited use so that you have to buy the expensive support service to get what turn out to be simple answers to simple questions - just my view, others might like it

regards
C
VSS

I would go for the cash accounting way of accounting for your VAT. The invoice based system is a nightmare.

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk
dpack

umm i have this stuff to look forward to again
i seem to think that a ledger and a shoebox work pretty well for record keeping but for analysis etc spreadsheet program (sage )is a good idea
when i was running a ltd company and vat reg i remember the importance of easily audited books cos untidy book keeping costs money to organise at short notice and the vat people always assume you owe them unless you can prove otherwise
the basics are fairly easy but if you have a reasonable turnover an accountant should generate their own fees by saving you paying more tax than you need .
never mess the vat ,they are more merciless than a very merciless thing and have powers the cia would like
MarkS

I dont see how cash accounting is any easier than invoice accounting, *if* you keep decent records.

One thing to look at is the flat rate scheme. Some people do very well out of that.

Agree with dpack about the vat man being the one to keep happy. bad news is that now they've merged with the IR, some tax people are trying to claim that they have/should have the same powers.
Rob R

VSS wrote:
The invoice based system is a nightmare.

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk


Why do you say that?
RichardW

Cos you end up tracking stuff twice. Once when you issue / recieve an invoice (for the vat man) & again when you pay / recieve payment for it (for your own benifit). Also if you raise large invoices you have to pay your VAT then & not when you actualy get the money. Ok you can calim back on recipt of an invoice before you pay it but lets face it you should be raising more invoices or higher amounts than you recieve in most cases.

Justme
RichardW

I would never use a flat rate scheme. You realy need to do your sums before you go down that route.

Justme
MarkS

Justme wrote:
Cos you end up tracking stuff twice. Once when you issue / recieve an invoice (for the vat man) & again when you pay / recieve payment for it (for your own benifit). Also if you raise large invoices you have to pay your VAT then & not when you actualy get the money. Ok you can calim back on recipt of an invoice before you pay it but lets face it you should be raising more invoices or higher amounts than you recieve in most cases.

Justme



depends what you do and what rates of vat apply. same with flat rate. I wouldnt but I know people who make a 'profit' out of it. you can still claim for single items over (I think) 1k
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