If you are not VAT registered (which you can be under that treshold), you don't have to report and pay your income VAT to the state.
On the other hand, you still pay that VAT when buying from others, so it evens out.
When you're VAT registered, you have to report and pay your VAT to the state. But your business is exempt for paying VAT when buying from other businesses.
VAT is always there, wether obvious or not ;)