VAT rate in the UK for 2019: Definition, Different Rates – 20%, 5%, 0%

The UK, at this moment still part of the EU, is one of the most important countries when it comes to e-commerce in general and to selling on Amazon in particular. Many people decide to start their career as an online seller on There are several reasons why that can be a good idea, the taxation issue, more precisely the VAT in the UK, will be explained in the following lines.

What is VAT?

The VAT is a national tax that ensures Europe-wide fair taxation. The value-added tax, that’s what VAT stands for, is a consumption tax that is added to all goods and services that are sold within the EU. As all European countries have their own VAT, online sellers often have to get several numbers in different countries.

Staying VAT compliant is always the big issue. Every European country has its own authorities, rules, regulations, requirements and documents. To stay VAT compliant in the UK, consult a tax expert and together, the best solution for you and your business can be created. Now back to the VAT rates.

VAT rates in the United Kingdom

VAT rate in UK of 20% (Standard):

All taxable goods and services that are not listed in the following British VAT rates.

VAT rate of 5% (Reduced):

Children’s car seats; certain social housing; some social services; electricity, natural gas and district heating supplies (for domestic use only); some energy-saving domestic installations and goods; LPG and heating oil (for domestic use only); some renovation and repairs of private dwellings; some medical equipment for disabled persons.

VAT rate: 0% (Zero):

Some social housing; printed books (excluding e-books); newspapers and periodicals; renovations to private housing; collections of domestic refuse; household water supplies; basic foodstuffs (excluding highly processed or pre-cooked food); some take away food; cut flowers and plants for food production; prescribed pharmaceutical products; certain medical supplies for disabled persons; domestic passenger transport; children’s clothing and footwear; children’s diapers; live animals destined for human consumption; seed supplies; supply of animal feed; supplies of residential caravans and houseboats; construction of residential buildings (excludes conversion of non-residential into dwellings); some supplies of new buildings; sewerage services; motor cycle and bicycle helmets; commercial ship and aircraft stores; intra-community and international passenger transport; some gold ingots, bars and coins.

Note: the VAT in the UK can be paid 30 days after the monthly/quarterly VAT reporting period end.