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I am just about to go over the vat threshold. I have two additional employees, My work is all business to consumer. I have a tough decision to make.  If I add VAT to my current lawn treatment costs then that is in effect a 20% increase to my customers and they just wont wear it, I then have to consider absorbing the 20%, so in effect wiping out around £18k profit (minus negligible purchases) every year, this will probably send me under, or finally I downsize the business and get it back below the £85k threshold.  None of this seems fair, has anyone else been in a similar position and can offer any advice?

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  • PRO

    We went VAT registered many years ago and all accepted the rise wih only one customer complaining. All of our work at th time was to domestic clients and 95% of our customers now cannot reclaim the VAT.

    I explained to them that it was a measure of our success and there was little that could be done about it...

    You will of course be able to make savings on business purchases too if you register.

    • Thanks for the input Nick, You're correct in as much as we have had a successful year and have worked hard to get to this point.  But we are in a very competitive industry with the large franchises such as Greenthumb and the like always looking to undercut us, and margins always being squeezed. Fertiliser prices have just gone up another 12% which we will have to absorb and this just seems like another challenge. With around 600 clients I wonder just how many we will lose by adding the VAT? This being self employed lark isn't easy ....!!!!! Thanks again.

  • There is a comment by Andrew on this thread that may be of interest


    The VAT Problem
    Current vat regs state that if your turnover exceeds £81000 (that's turnover not profit alas) then you must register for vat. This means that all you…
    • Thanks Tommy, that makes interesting reading. Muchly appreciated.

  • In summary over the years most Vat related threads on this forum seem to be filled with apprehension and business owners generally fretting about what to do, but they seem to end up with them wondering why they didn't do it sooner.

    I myself am in the apprehensive camp and so can totally relate to your thoughts of suddenly either becoming 20%dearer or else making 20% less

    if you have 600 clients or thereabouts you should be competent enough to go for it and make the most of it! All the best

    • Thanks Adam, when I make my decision I'll let you all know what the results are. 

  • PRO

    We had to do it maybe 10 years ago and thinking back I also had your worries but only a few even said anything about it and many of these clients are still on the books today and any new ones were on the plus vat rate anyhow.

    • Thank you for the advice, I'll let you know how I get on. Time for some decisive talks with my accountant.

  • Is anyone (particularly domestic garden maintenance guys and gals) on the flat rate scheme mentioned in other threads.

    Pro's, con's?

  • PRO

    If you just increase the customers bills by 20% you will find that you will not lose very many customers. As long as you let them know that you have had to make the increase because HMRC want their share of tax, you will find the most of your customers are very understanding of your circumstances. 

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