How do I file VAT returns?

If you’re business is VAT registered or considering becoming VAT registered, then you may want to know how to file your own VAT returns. Many business owners decide to outsource this job to an accountant for peace of mind and to save time. But in this blog, we cover the basic things you need to know to file a VAT return.

How do I file VAT returns?

Can you do your own VAT return?

The answer to this question is yes, you can file your own VAT return. If your business is simple, then you should be able to do your VAT return yourself. However, there can be many complexities to VAT such as input VAT not always being claimable, different VAT rates for various products and different VAT schemes. Also you’ll need to remember to submit your VAT returns on time every quarter.

In order to file your VAT return online, youll need Making tax digital (MTD) compatible software, so bear this in mind if you currently do manual accounts for your business.

Because of this, many business owners get an accountant to file their VAT returns for them. It’s good to use an accountant with a specialist VAT team such as dns accountants to help you.

Do I need to submit a VAT return?

Any business that is VAT registered needs to submit quarterly VAT returns. A business must be registered for VAT if it’s taxable turnover is over £85,000. However, businesses under that turnover can register voluntarily.

How do I submit a VAT return?

Under the governments scheme ‘Making Tax Digital’ all businesses over the VAT threshold of £85,000 taxable turnover must submit VAT returns online. From 1 April 2022, ALL VAT registered businesses will be expected to submit VAT returns online (including those that voluntarily register for VAT but are under the threshold.

When do I need to submit a VAT return?

VAT returns need to be submitted quarterly (every 3 months) – this period of time is known as your ‘accounting period’.

The deadline for submitting the return online and paying HMRC are usually the same - 1 calendar month and 7 days after the end of an accounting period.

What do I need to submit my VAT return online?

You will need:

  • Making tax digital (MTC) compatible software.
  • VAT number.
  • VAT online account.

What information is on a VAT return?

The information you submit on a VAT return is as follows:

  • your total sales and purchases.
  • the amount of VAT you owe.
  • the amount of VAT you can reclaim.
  • what your VAT refund from HMRC is.

Do I submit a VAT return if I have no VAT to pay or reclaim?

Yes, you do, this is known as a nil return or zero return. You can read more about this in our blog ‘When and how to submit a zero VAT return’

Can I amend a VAT return once submitted?

Net errors made on previous VAT returns can be corrected on subsequent VAT returns if:

  • they are £10,000 or less or.
  • £10,000 to £50,000 (but not exceeding 1% of quarterly turnover) and.
  • they are not deliberate.
  • relate to an accounting period that ended less than four years ago.

If the errors don’t meet the above conditions, then you will need to notify HMRC VAT error correction team.

Getting a VAT refund

If the payment exceeds what the tax was collected then HMRC owes you a refund. The company will be refunded after the return has been filed. You should have their credit card information. Disclaimer: We provide neither financial nor commercial consulting. It is intended to be informative in nature. You can consult a professional adviser before acting on a given topic or taking a decision if there are other issues pertaining to the provided information.

Need help filing a VAT return?

If you need help filing your VAT returns or advice on VAT registration or paying VAT then contact dns accountants today. We offer a wide range of VAT support services and have a specialist VAT team to help with all your VAT registration and filing needs and answer any of your VAT questions.

If you would like to speak with one of our VAT experts and need help to file VAT returns, please contact dns on 03330 886 686, or e-mail us at info@dnsaccountants.co.uk.

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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.


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