As soon as you reach the VAT threshold, which is currently £85,000, you will be expected to pay VAT on all taxable sales. However, you may also be entitled to claim back VAT that has been charged on business purchases.
As part of this process, you will also need to submit a VAT return to HMRC, which must be completed accurately and on time.
For many businesses operating across a range of sectors, the prospect of completing a VAT return online can be incredibly daunting, complex and challenging. The good news is that we have created a helpful guide outlining how you can complete your return without panicking.
First and foremost, what is a VAT return?
A VAT return is a tax form which outlines how much VAT you will need to pay to HMRC and incorporates total sales and purchases, the amount of VAT that you owe, the amount that you are entitled to reclaim, as well as any VAT refunds from HMRC.
When do you need to complete your VAT return?
As a general rule of thumb, you will need to complete your VAT return one month and seven days after the end of the VAT period. This means every three months, you will be expected to complete and submit a VAT return. You must ensure that you submit the required information on time to avoid costly penalties.
How to fill in VAT return online
As long as you are equipped with the information you need, filling out your VAT return needn’t be a challenging process.
For example, before you get started, you should make sure that you have your VAT number to hand and that you are able to access a VAT online account. You will then need to follow the form and complete all necessary information. The Government’s guidance on how to fill out your return is a great reference point and has lots of information about common requirements when completing each box and how to fill out each box.
Alternatively, if you are using commercial accounting software such QuickBooks, you can submit your VAT return directly, providing the accounting software is compatible.
Where do I need to submit my VAT return?
VAT returns should be submitted to HMRC online. Of course, if you are struggling with the process, the Government’s VAT guide is a great resource to refer back to and is easy to follow and understand.
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