This Content Was Last Updated on February 9, 2017 by Jessica Garbett


Since its introduction in 1973 VAT has become a complicated business. Our guidance helps practitioners and SMEs.

VAT, implemented in the UK on 1 April 1973, was initially touted as a simple tax: a tax on consumption. Forty years later the same cannot be said; VAT has become a complex and often misunderstood tax with many pitfalls and further complication as it’s a European legislated tax with 28 member states.

To assist with this, ACCA produces a wide variety of tools and resources to help demystify the complexities of the VAT system. The Technical Advisory team has a dedicated part of the ACCA UK website that looks at changes affecting VAT containing a whole host of articles, tools and resources.

As with other taxes, VAT cases look at particular transactions and are pivotal in setting many principles; ACCA has produced a library of the most infamous principle setting VAT cases.

The European Union (EU) is the UK’s largest trade partner and having a common VAT system throughout the 28 member states helps simplify and sanction trade between member states. Understanding the ins and outs of VAT in each state is difficult; ACCA produces a helpful analysis on the 28 EU member states that provides details on:

  • what VAT is called in each member state
  • the EU country code
  • the standard rate of VAT
  • the form and type of the VAT registration number used in each member state
  • the common VAT filing period
  • details of government websites in order to access further information.

Article via ACCA