The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds will remain frozen at their present levels of £85,000 and £83,000 until 31 March 2024. This will tend to require more businesses to register for the tax as they grow, and therefore represents a small tax-raising measure.
No further changes have been announced relating to the reduced rate of VAT that has applied to qualifying supplies by hospitality, leisure and entertainment businesses to help offset the impact of the pandemic. The rate reduced from 20% to 5% in July 2020, and increased to 12.5% with effect from 1 October 2021. It will revert back to the standard 20% rate on 1 April 2022.
HMRC says that there are no plans to introduce ‘anti-forestalling rules’ to counter the VAT saving enjoyed by someone who pays a deposit before the rate goes back up – on present plans, that will lock in the 12.5% rate of VAT to the extent that the supply is paid for before 1 April 2022, even if the actual supply takes place later.
As announced in March 2021, the rules for late payment of VAT will be reformed for return periods beginning on or after 1 April 2022. Default surcharge will be replaced by interest on late payment and separate penalties for late filing of returns.