VAT Returns

What is a VAT return?

A VAT return is the calculation of the amount of VAT due on sales you have made subtracted by the amount of VAT reclaimable on purchases. The result is the amount payable to HMRC.

If the amount reclaimable on purchases is more than the amount due on sales, HMRC will give you the difference back!

Put into other words:

A VAT Return calculates how much VAT you owe HMRC (or how much they owe you) by looking at:

  • Total sales and purchases across a three-month accounting period
  • The amount of VAT you owe for sales
  • The amount of VAT you can reclaim for purchases made by your business.

All VAT-registered businesses must submit VAT Returns – even if there is no VAT to pay or reclaim. Businesses that are not VAT registered do not need to submit VAT Returns.

How to file your VAT return

You can file your VAT return through HMRC’s own website, come to us and we can help you do this, find out more here or can use an online accounting service like FreeAgent which will help you fill in your VAT return, then allow you to submit it directly to HMRC for you.

Example of a VAT return

Example of a VAT return

VAT Return refunds

If your VAT Return shows that you can reclaim more VAT than the amount you owe, HMRC will refund the difference.

VAT repayments are usually approved within 30 days of HMRC receiving your VAT Return. If HMRC has your bank details, the refund will go directly to your bank account. If not, you will be sent a cheque.

If you would like to find out more please read more here

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