UK VAT Rates and in EU/EOG

VAT in European Union Countries

Turkey 18%
Switzerland 8%
Sweden 25%
Spain 21%
Slovenia 22%
Slovakia 20%
Romania 24%
Portugal 23%
Poland 23%
Norway 25%
Netherlands 21%
Luxembourg 15%
Lithuania 21%
Latvia 21%
Italy 22%
Ireland 23%
Hungary 27%
Greece 23%
United Kingdom 20%
Germany 19%
France 20%
Finland 24%
Estonia 20%
Denmark 25%
Czech Republic 21%
Croatia 25%
Belgium 21%
Austria 20%

The data shows that the lowest VAT rates apply in Switzerland and Luxemburg and the highest in Sweden, Norway and Croatia. In the UK, the basic VAT rate is 20%.

VAT Rates in United Kingdom

The basic VAT rate for most goods and services is 20%.  You should know examples of services with a 20% rate:

  • web development services
  • consulting
  • specialized and non-specialized sales
  • transport activities
  • cleaning service

Another reduced rate is 5%.   Types of services with this rate:

  • electricity for households

The 0% rate applies to children’s articles and clothes. There is also a exclusion from VAT application. Sample services:

  • stamps
  • financial intermediation services
  • real estate transactions or business sales


Do not charge VAT

  1. SITUATION A    if the services are exempt from VAT
  2. SITUATION B    – If your services or sales are outside the United Kingdom, you must register for VAT in your country of sale. For example, if you have an online store and your shipping location starts in Germany, VAT is applied in Germany. You are not required to register for VAT purposes in the UK (in the case of mail order sales).

If you do not know what your VAT rate is, check the Notice or contact HMRC:

Full adress:

HM Revenue and Customs – VAT Registration Service  Imperial House 77 Victoria Street DN31 1DB Grimsby United Kingdom



VAT – The Disadvantages To Registering

VAT – The Disadvantages To Registering

Many large companies that are enjoying a highly profitable enterprise will most likely register for VAT at one point or another, which will mean they’re charging their customers a slightly increased amount in return for continued growth, the opportunity to expand and grow, as well as more money coming in. However, there are disadvantages to registering for VAT, despite what many people would initially think. So, what are these drawbacks?

It could affect your business

First and foremost, the biggest problem with registering for VAT is the detrimental effect it can have on your customer base. A raise in prices may lead to unhappy customers. For example, if you were a small premises operating in town as a general store selling food and drink, and your prices raised to match supermarket prices, it may drive customers away as they’re paying the same thing elsewhere for potentially a larger selection, if the fact you were a smaller local business selling goods slightly cheaper was the main appeal of your shop. As well as this, you have to charge VAT on each sale which is appropriate to the price, so in some instances, the pricing of certain items which are more expensive can rise further, and it’s entirely possible that your customers can find a better deal to purchase the goods elsewhere.

You’ll have more paperwork

With the addition of VAT comes the addition of paperwork in larger volumes to accommodate the added responsibility and processes. Administration of VAT involves a quarterly or monthly VAT return to be filled out and sent to HMRC with details how much VAT has been taken in, and as well at this, the documents have to be stored and maintained for record keeping. As well as this, you as the vendor of goods will be required to raise a VAT invoice on every sale that is made, and these will all need to be kept and stored safely in case a situation arises where proof that VAT is being charged is required. Another interesting point is that while you can opt out of VAT if you decide that it’s become a detriment to your business and you no longer wish to charge it, you’ll be unable to if your annual sales exceed a certain value.

So, looking at these disadvantages, does that make VAT something to not register for? It’s a very circumstantial thing, with commercial giants like supermarket chains benefitting from the registration of VAT, and smaller, more local businesses failing to profit to the same levels. It’s a decision that is at the discretion of the owner of the firm because there are some distinct disadvantages if the registration is not done tactfully. The biggest concern for aspiring companies will be losing a valuable customer base in the event of rising prices when the lowered prices and the fact it was supporting a local business was part of what gave the shop it’s appeal, but with rising VAT prices it could be problematic.