Introduction to this document

Flow chart - reclaiming preregistration VAT

A business is entitled to reclaim VAT it incurred on purchases of goods or services made before it was registered. As well as the general time limit of four years for goods, a shorter one of six months applies to VAT paid on the purchase of services. The four years runs not from the tax point, e.g. the invoice date, but from the due date for the VAT return on which the claim ought to have been made.


Bcom Ltd was registered for VAT on 1 April 2018. Its VAT quarters end on 30 June, 30 September and so on. In June 2022 Bcom’s new bookkeeper reviews its VAT records and finds that the company didn’t reclaim input tax on some purchases of stock and materials bought in July 2017. Bcom has until 31 July 2022 in which to reclaim the VAT - four years from the due date of the return period in which it could have first made a claim (that was its first VAT return for the period ended 30 June 2018, due by 31 July 2018).


Flow chart

Use our Flow Chart - Reclaiming Preregistration VAT to help you decide if you can reclaim preregistration VAT. For further information on claims, visit