Online VAT registration

21 September 2022

HMRC launched its new online VAT registration system on 1 August 2022, which brings the system onto the same mainframe as Making Tax Digital. Members have subsequently been raising troubleshooting concerns with the CIOT and ATT.

The CIOT and ATT, as well as other stakeholder representatives, have been collating member feedback and making submissions to HMRC highlighting the difficulties and errors experienced with the new online system. HMRC initially issued an ‘Agent Update’ paper on 10 August, with a further ‘Query paper’ on 12 August (published at

As these still did not cover all of the arising scenarios, the ATT and other stakeholders attended a meeting with HMRC on 30 August, where feedback submissions, including those from the CIOT and ATT, were discussed. During that meeting, HMRC confirmed that several steps in the online application process had been amended, including removing the reference to intending traders having to provide a date ‘within three months’. Also confirmed was that the upload functionality was being worked on as a priority so that documents can be submitted with applications, as was available in the previous system. Further, they anticipated that ‘task functionality’ would be added to the system so that users would not need to click through all questions to move forwards and backwards within the online form. Instead, the questions would be grouped by ‘task’ so you can select the heading to find the area you want to access more quickly.

HMRC confirmed that they would compile responses to the feedback points that were not able to be finalised during the meeting, and that these would be sent to stakeholders in due course. Once the CIOT and ATT receive them they will be published on the technical news areas of our websites at:



Whilst we would hope that the major concerns with the new system are all corrected by the point of publishing this article, if you still experience issues with the new system that are not already addressed in the technical news publications, please do contact or with ‘Online VAT registration system’ in the title and the CIOT and ATT will continue to feedback user issues to HMRC.

Jayne Simpson

Emma Rawson