Rules for VAT Registration of a Sole Business Owner

Business owners do not become VAT payers under law unless their revenue exceeds 1 million Czech crowns over 12 or less consecutive calendar months (rather than over a fiscal period or a calendar year), although they may decide to register for VAT voluntarily. The advantage of the exemption is that you do not have to add VAT to the price charged on your invoice.  This is convenient if your clients are mostly non-payers of VAT (such as when you sell your art to private collectors) or if you supply your services to public institutions, which are exempt from VAT on certain activities, because such clients would otherwise pay VAT without having the right to claim a refund. What this means for you is that when you issue an invoice for a VAT non-payer, while being a non-payer yourself, you should not add VAT to the price, because the non-payer may not claim a VAT refund from tax authorities. At the same time, whether you charge VAT or not is a moot point for clients who buy your art in the course of their business, because they may claim the VAT refund later.

The main disadvantage of not being registered as a VAT payer is that you may not apply for a VAT refund on the purchase of supplies charged with VAT. As a result, the exact financial benefit of a voluntary VAT registration depends on the composition of your client portfolio and on the costs of materials and services used in your business.

Example

A theatre company looks for a director of a promotional video at a budget of up to CZK 50,000. Two possible candidates have applied. The first director is a freelancer who is not a VAT payer and may invoice the amount of CZK 50K net of VAT and keep the entire amount. The second director is a taxable person. Depending on whether the theatre company is a VAT payer or not, the first director may therefore offer the services at a lower price than the second one or may earn a higher fee if the amount invoiced is the same.