I just wondered - if I have a business in the UK is there any restrictions on claiming VAT back on items bought for the business - do I need to earn over a certain threshold as I don't earn that much currently
You must register for VAT with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if your business’ VAT taxable turnover is more than £82,000. You can register voluntarily if it’s below this, unless everything you sell is exempt.
You can claim VAT back if you are VAT registered. You MUST be VAT registered if your turnover is more than £82,000. You MAY register if your turnover is less.
However, you can only claim back as much VAT as you actually received, and you can only claim VAT back on purchases that were made for your business, not for private use.
And you need to remember that if you are VAT registered, you MUST charge VAT on every income. If you mostly trade with private customers, it means that your prices all just went up by 20%, so it's not a good idea.