VAT Calculator

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The information & VAT Calculator displayed on VATCalculatoruk.co.uk has been verified & approved by a Chartered Accountant.

Use our free VAT Calculator above to calculate your figure inclusive or exclusive of VAT.

If you require assistance using the VAT Calculator or have questions surrounding VAT, please scroll down to read our helpful guides. 

How To Use The VAT Calculator

To add VAT on the VAT Calculator:

  1. Enter your amount
  2. Enter the VAT rate (UK standard rate is 20%)
  3. Click Add VAT

To remove VAT on the VAT Calculator:

  1. Enter your amount
  2. Enter the VAT rate (UK standard rate is 20%)
  3. Click Remove VAT

UK VAT Rate

The UK standard VAT rate is 20% which was increased from 17.5% under the Conservative & Liberal Democrats coalition government on the 4th of January 2011.

The UK’s VAT rates include; (Source)

  • Standard UK VAT rate of 20% for most goods and services
  • Reduced UK VAT rate of 5% for some goods and services, eg children’s car seats and home energy
  • Zero UK VAT rate of 0% for zero-rated goods and services, eg most food and children’s clothes

Working Out VAT

You can work out VAT in two ways by removing / reversing VAT or adding / including VAT.

Adding / Including VAT Formula

  1. Multiply the price/figure by 1. + VAT Percentage 
  2. For example, the UK VAT rate is 20%, which means you would do price/figure X 1.2 
  3. For example, £100 is the price X 1.2 = £120 which is now the price/figure including VAT

Reversing / Removing VAT Formula

  1. Divide the price/figure by 1. + VAT Percentage
  2. For example, the UK VAT rate is 20%, which means you would do price/figure / 1.2
  3. For example, £120 is the figure / 1.2 = £100 which is now the price/figure excluding VAT

VAT Calculation Example

A VAT calculation example would be a shop keeper wanting to make £8 on their product. Provided the product falls under the standard UK VAT Rate they would need to apply 20% on top.

To calculate this they would:

  1. Product price (£8) X 1.2 (1. + VAT Percentage) = £9.60
  2. The shopkeeper would now sell their product for £9.60 to make them £8 on the product
  3. The VAT added would be; final sum (£9.60) – original product price (£8) = £1.60 VAT

If the shopkeeper has already priced the product and wanted to reverse work out how much VAT they owed to HMRC they would calculate it like this:

  1. Product price (£9.60) / 1.2 (1. + VAT Percentage) = £8
  2. They would then do original product price (£9.60) – divided sum (£8) = £1.60
  3. Thus they would owe £1.60 in VAT

VAT Inclusive

VAT inclusive is the price/figure that includes VAT.

To calculate the price/figure that includes VAT simply:

  1. Multiply the figure by 1.2 (1. + UK VAT Percentage)
  2. For example, £10 is the price X 1.2 = £12 which is now the price/figure including VAT
  3.  The VAT would be the gross price (£12) – price excluding VAT (£10) = £2 VAT

VAT Exclusive

VAT exclusive is the price/figure that excludes VAT.

To calculate the price/figure that excludes VAT simply:

  1. Divide the figure by 1.2 (1.+ UK VAT Percentage)
  2. For example, £600 is the figure / 1.2 = £500 which is now the figure excluding VAT
  3. The VAT would be the original gross price (£600) – price excluding VAT (£500) = £100 VAT

Calculate Gross VAT Figure

To calculate the gross VAT figure simply:

  1. Multiply the net figure by 1. + VAT Percentage
  2. For example, the UK VAT rate is 20%, so you would do net figure X 1.2
  3. An example would be £1000 net figure X 1.2 = £1200 gross figure (including VAT)

Calculate VAT Backwards

To calculate VAT backwards simply:

  1. Take the sum you want to work backwards from divide it by 1.2 (1.+ VAT Percentage), then subtract the divided number from the original number, that then equals the VAT.
  2. For example £60 / 1.2 (UK VAT rate) = £50 (price without VAT)
  3. Original figure (£60) – £50 (price without VAT) = £10 VAT

UK VAT Rates On Products & Services

VAT On Food

The majority of food within the UK is zero-rated meaning you don’t pay VAT. (Source)

Zero-rated food & drinks include:

  • Biscuits (not chocolate covered)
  • Bread, rolls, baps & pitta bread
  • Cakes (including chocolate teacake, Jaffa Cakes)
  • Canned & frozen food (not ice cream)
  • Cereals
  • Chilled/frozen ready meals, convenience foods
  • Cooking oil
  • Eggs
  • Fish (including live fish)
  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Meat & poultry
  • Milk, butter, cheese
  • Nuts & pulses (raw for human consumption)
  • Salt (culinary)
  • Sandwiches (cold)
  • Tea, coffee & cocoa
  • Water (household)

However certain food & drinks are taxed at the standard rate of VAT which is 20% 

These food & drinks include:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Biscuits (chocolate covered only)
  • Bottled water (including mineral water)
  • Carbonated (fizzy) drinks
  • Cereal bars
  • Chocolate
  • Confectionery/sweets
  • Food & drinks supplied for consumption on the premises (at restaurants, cafes etc.)
  • Hot take-away food & drinks (including burgers, hot dogs, toasted sandwiches etc.)
  • Ice cream
  • Fruit juice & other cold drinks (not milk)
  • Nuts (shelled, roasted & salted)
  • Potato crisps

Frequently Asked VAT Questions & Answers

VAT On Train Tickets

There is no VAT on train tickets, this is because they are within the zero-rated VAT rates. This includes public transport such as buses, trains and tubes.

VAT On Insurance

You do not have to pay VAT on insurance, as both commercial and personal lines insurance premiums are exempt from VAT.

You do however have to pay Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). (Source)

VAT On Flights

VAT on flights is zero-rated, which means you do not pay VAT on flights. (Source)

VAT On Electricity

VAT on electricity is charged at the reduced rate of 5%. This reduced VAT rate of 5% applies to electricity for domestic, residential and non-business use by a charity.

VAT On Gas

VAT on gas is charged at the reduced rate of 5%. This reduced VAT rate of 5% applies to gas for domestic, residential and non-business use by a charity.

VAT On Heating Oil

VAT on heating oil is charged at the reduced rate of 5%. This reduced VAT rate of 5% applies to heating oil for domestic, residential and non-business use by a charity.

VAT On Solid Fuel

VAT on solid fuel is charged at the reduced rate of 5%. This reduced VAT rate of 5% applies to solid fuel for domestic, residential and non-business use by a charity.

VAT On Wine

VAT on wine is subject to standard rate VAT which is 20%. In addition to VAT on wine, you will pay wine duty which varies depending on the strength of the wine.

Is There VAT On Road Tax?

There is no VAT on Road Tax as it is separate taxation.

Do Schools Pay VAT?

Schools do not pay VAT. Education, vocational training and other connected services provided by an eligible body like a school, college or university are exempt from VAT.

They can however still reclaim VAT on goods & services relevant to their educational activities.

Do You Pay VAT On Council Tax?

You do not pay VAT on Council Tax as it is separate taxation.

Do You Pay VAT On Mot?

You do not pay VAT on MOT’s. (Source)

VAT Zero Rated Items

  • Aircraft (sale/charter)
  • Bicycle & motorcycle helmets
  • Biscuits (not chocolate covered)
  • Books, maps & charts (not E-books)
  • Bread, rolls, baps & pitta bread
  • Brochures, leaflets & pamphlets
  • Building services for disabled people
  • Cakes (including Chocolate teacake, Jaffa Cakes)
  • Canned & frozen food (not ice cream)
  • Cereals
  • Chilled/frozen ready meals, convenience foods
  • Clothes & footwear (for children under 14 only)
  • Construction & sale of new domestic buildings
  • Cooking oil
  • Donated goods sold at charity shops
  • Eggs
  • Equipment for disabled people (inc. blind/partially sighted)
  • Fish (inc. live fish)
  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Live animals for human consumption
  • Meat & poultry
  • Milk, butter, cheese
  • Newspapers, magazines & journals
  • Nuts & pulses (raw for human consumption)
  • Prescription medicine
  • Protective boots & helmets (industrial)
  • Public transport fares (bus, train & tube)
  • Salt (culinary)
  • Sandwiches (cold)
  • Sewerage (domestic & industrial)
  • Shipbuilding (15 tonnes or over)
  • Tea, coffee & cocoa
  • Transport in a vehicle, boat or aircraft (not fewer than ten passengers)
  • Water (household)

VAT Exempt Items

  • Antiques, works of art or similar, when sold to public institutions
  • Burial or cremation (human)
  • Commercial land & buildings (selling/leasing/letting)
  • Cultural events operated by public bodies (museums, art exhibitions, zoos & performances)
  • Education, vocational training
  • Financial services (money transactions, loans/credits, savings/deposits, shares/bonds)
  • Funeral plan insurance
  • Gambling (betting, gaming, bingo, lottery)
  • Health services (doctors, dentists, opticians, pharmacists & other health professionals)
  • Insurance
  • Medical treatment & care
  • Membership subscriptions
  • Postage stamps
  • Sports activities & physical education
  • TV licence

Who Pays VAT?

Value Added Tax or VAT is paid by all residents of countries within the European Union and the United Kingdom residents will continue to pay VAT once they have left the EU.

Businesses and consumers are required to pay VAT; it is paid on purchases of goods or services.

For example, if a manufacturer was to create a new product, they would pay VAT on any of the materials purchased that were required to manufacture the new product.

The manufacturer will then sell this new product to consumers. The consumers will then pay VAT on top of the price set (without VAT).

Do Businesses Pay VAT?

Businesses pay VAT in multiple circumstances.

Businesses that turnover more than £85,000 within any 12-month period are legally required to register for VAT and pay any difference to HMRC.

Once a business is VAT registered, it must charge VAT on goods and services that it sells, and it must pay VAT on goods and services that it buys. The business will then file VAT returns to HMRC.

The frequency of the returns will depend upon the VAT scheme that the business is using.

Once VAT registered, the business can claim back VAT on purchases they make for the business to operate. 

Do Sole Traders Pay VAT?

Sole traders that turnover more than £85,000 (within any 12-month period) must pay VAT.

When you’re VAT registered as a sole trader you must charge and pay VAT on all goods and services you purchase and sell.