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The latest published statistics show that in the last year for which figures are available (2016-17), there were approximately 2,309,000 VAT registered businesses. Of these, approximately 1,179,000 were registered above the VAT threshold, and approximately 1,130,000 were registered below the VAT threshold.
The Office of Tax Simplification noted in their review of VAT published last year that the current design of the VAT threshold may be dis-incentivising small businesses from growing. The Chancellor at Autumn Budget recognised these concerns about the cliff edge nature of the threshold, but also noted that the threshold has the benefit of keeping the majority of UK businesses out of VAT altogether, and was therefore not minded to reduce the threshold, but would consult on whether its design could better incentivise growth.
The Government therefore launched a call for evidence to explore how the threshold could better incentivise growth at Spring Statement. This call for evidence closed on 5 June, and the Government will respond later this year. In the meantime, the threshold will remain at £85,000 for two years from April 2018.