VAT Rates

The standard VAT rate is 20%

VAT rates for goods and services

Rate % of VAT What the rate applies to
Standard 20% Most goods and services
Reduced rate 5% Some goods and services, e.g. childrens car seats and home energy
Zero rate 0% Zero-rated goods and services, e.g. most food and childrens clothes

The standard rate of VAT increased to 20% on 4 January 2011 (from 17.5%).

Some things are exempt from VAT, eg postage stamps, financial and property transactions.

The VAT rate businesses charge depends on their goods and services.

Check the rates of VAT on different goods and services.

Historic VAT rates

The table below provides an overview of the historic rates of VAT that has been applied since VAT was introduced in 1973.

Dates VAT rate
Standard rate
1 April 1973 10%
29 July 1974 8%
18 June 1979 15% (replaces all previously standard and higher rated supplies)
1 April 1991 17.5%
1 Dec 2008 15%
1 Jan 2010 17.5%
4 Jan 2011 20%
Reduced rate
1 April 1994 8% (covered supplies of fuel and power)
1 Sept 1997 5% (extended to cover other supplies, with later other subsequent extensions)
Higher rate
18 Nov 1976 25% (covered petrol but not derv)
1 May 1975 (covered domestic electrical appliances, radios, TVs, hi-fis, pleasure boats, aircraft, towing caravans, photographic equipment, furs and jewellery)
12 April 1976 12.5%
18 June 1979 Abolished (standard rate increased from 8% to 15% to cover higher rate goods)

Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.

The information displayed in this section should not be used as a definitive guide, since individual circumstances may vary. Specific advice should be obtained where necessary. We accept no responsibility of use of above information on your own.