If you didn’t, the chances are you should have registered. It’s important you rectify it as soon as possible by back dating a VAT registration for your business. It’s better you come clean to HMRC now, before they find out you didn’t register for VAT when you should have!
But what if your turnover went over the VAT threshold in the past, but hasn’t gone back over it since? In this instance, you still need to register for VAT.
However, a little-known team in HMRC exists called the ‘Liable, No Longer Liable Team’ (it’s not surprising few people know about the team with a name like that!) can be used. To avoid having to go through the rigmarole of registering, obtaining a VAT registration number and back-dating VAT returns, you can ask for your case to dealt with by the Liable, No Longer Liable Team. They will simply calculate the VAT which should have been paid during the period your taxable business supplies exceeded the VAT threshold, without the need for you to formally register for VAT and most likely suffer additional costs and administration burdens in the process.
Remember, be transparent with HMRC before they catch-up with you. HMRC are much more open with those who admit a mistake was made than those who try to hide.