Purchases made before VAT registration

Newly registered companies can claim VAT on pre-registration purchases within the following timeframes:

  • 4 years for goods you still have, or that were used to make other goods you still have
  • 6 months for services (e.g. utility bills, software, professional fees, rent etc.)

These timeframes run back from your VAT registration date. For example, if your VAT registration date is 1 April 2024, you can go back to 1 April 2020 to reclaim VAT on purchase of goods and 1 September 2023 for services.

All claimable expenditure must relate to your ‘business purpose’, meaning they must relate to  taxable goods or services that you supply.

This reclaim can only be made on your first VAT return and you should keep records including:

  • invoices and receipts
  • a description and purchase dates
  • information about how they relate to your business now

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