Or Why I am ruing the day I started this
So, following my claim for the VAT that I had spent in the UK while on business, I got an email from HMRC with various questions as to what I was doing in the UK and whether the clients I have were VAT-registered. I was completely up-front and disclosed that while the vast majority of my clients are VAT-registered allowing me to use the reverse charge mechanism, I had one job last year where the client is non-VAT registered and am in the middle of a second now.
The amounts are small (£100 + VAT for the first and £350 + VAT for the second) and the first client still hasn’t paid me, but the HMRC is insisting that I either register for VAT in the UK or I use the MOSS system (Mini One Stop Shop, known as the mini-guichet unique TVA in France) for electronic services. I chose the latter and went into my online account on the DGFP site to ask to register. A few weeks later I got an email rejecting my registration. When I queried this I was told that it was because I hadn’t answered the request for further information that had been sent on 22nd May which I didn’t receive.
I’ve now asked what I have to do to re-activate the registration and await the answer, but I’m not holding my breath.
Update: I got an email asking what services I was providing. When I answered building websites and writing copy for web pages, I was told that MOSS is only for tasks with minimum human intervention and websites don’t qualify. I am now in the process of registering for VAT with the UK authorities. All of this for £90 worth of VAT on invoices that I’ve not been paid for yet, and to claim back £150 worth of UK VAT that I paid. Next time I will definitely not bother….