UK VAT Calculator

UK VAT Calculator
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Balance (Excluding VAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a type of consumption tax that is imposed on a product at every stage of the supply chain, starting from the production phase and ending at the point of sale. A consumer is required to pay VAT on the product's cost, except for any costs of materials that have already been taxed. This means that the VAT is only applied to the value added at each stage of the supply chain, rather than the full cost of the product.

2. What is the current VAT rate in the UK?

The standard VAT rate in the UK is currently 20%. There are also reduced rates for certain goods and services, such as 5% for home energy or children's car seats, and a zero rate for most food and children's clothing.

3. How do I calculate VAT?

  1. Standard VAT Calculation: To calculate the VAT at the standard rate of 20%, you multiply the original price (excluding VAT) by the VAT rate and divide by 100. The VAT formula is:

    VAT A m o u n t = ( O r i g i n a l P r i c e × V A T R a t e ) 100

    For example, if an item costs £100 and the VAT rate is 20%, the VAT would be £20.

  2. Reverse VAT Calculation: To find the original price before VAT was added, you divide the total price (including VAT) by one plus the VAT rate expressed as a decimal. The formula is:

    O r i g i n a l P r i c e = T o t a l P r i c e ( 1 + V A T R a t e 100 )

    For example, if the total price is £120 and the VAT rate is 20%, the original price would be £100.

4. Who pays VAT and why?

VAT is paid by the consumer at the point of sale and collected by the business selling the goods or services, which then remits this amount to the government. It is a way of evenly distributing the tax burden on consumption rather than income or wealth.

5. Why is VAT charged in the UK?

VAT is charged in the UK as a means of raising revenue for the government. It is one of the most significant sources of government funding and is used to fund public services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

6. Is there VAT on flight tickets?

No, flight tickets are zero-rated for VAT purposes in the UK. This means that while VAT is technically set at 0%, no VAT is actually added to the price of flight tickets.

7. Is there VAT on train tickets?

No, train tickets within the UK are also zero-rated for VAT. Passengers do not pay VAT on top of the price for train travel.

8. Is there VAT on electricity?

Yes, domestic electricity is subject to a reduced VAT rate of 5% in the UK. This lower rate applies to domestic energy use to help reduce the overall cost burden on households.

9. Is there VAT on Council Tax?

No, Council Tax is not subject to VAT. Council Tax is a local taxation system used to fund local government services and is separate from VAT.

10. Do businesses pay VAT?

Businesses act as the collector of VAT on behalf of the government. They add VAT to the price of the goods and services they sell, and claim back any VAT they have paid on business-related goods and services. If a business is VAT-registered, it must charge VAT on its sales and can reclaim any VAT it has paid on its purchases.


  1. GOV.UK