VAT registration delays – how to ensure applications are processed promptly

If applications are completed correctly, VAT registration numbers can be issued automatically within 72 hours of the application being made.

However, if HMRC wishes to conduct checks or request further information, it can take several weeks which can result in practical issues for businesses. 

A business that hasn’t been allocated a VAT registration number can be disadvantaged – it can’t issue final VAT invoices and often a VAT number is a proof of being in business. Below are some of the most common reasons that cause online VAT registration applications to require manual intervention and increase processing time.

Addresses do not match on the application

Addresses provided on the application do not match the business’s principal place of business.

Trade classification does not match

Notification of a trade classification does not match up with the work that the business itself carries out.

VAT liability is not identified

The VAT liability of trading is not correctly identified.

Invalid signatory

Invalid signatory for the application – e.g. for a corporate body it must be a director, company secretary or authorised signatory or an authorised agent.

Incorrect dates

Invalid dates on the application – e.g. does the effective date of registration requested match up to the circumstances that have been outlined for requesting registration elsewhere in the application?

Wrong bank account details

The bank account details provided are not in the name of the taxable person.

Missing Supplementary forms

Supplementary forms are missing, for example applications involving land and property require form VAT 5L and form VAT 1614A should be attached to notify an option to tax on land and buildings. 

Can MHA Moore & Smalley help me with my VAT registration?

MHA Moore and Smalley can advise and help you with ensuring the VAT registration process is as quick and seamless as possible. Get in touch today to find out more by contacting or by filling in the form below.