Create a VAT Return

You can produce a VAT Return and submit this information online to HMRC. After you create the VAT Return, you can easily record a payment or refund of the VAT due.

Once you include a transaction in a VAT Return, you can’t edit or delete the transaction.

To create a VAT Return

  • 1. Click more > VAT Returns > Create Report for HMRC > Next.
  • 2. Check the following details:
  • Your VAT Return submission frequency appears as Monthly or Quarterly. If necessary, you can amend this.
  • Check or amend the From and To dates for the VAT Return.
  • To confirm you’ve entered all transactions for the VAT period, select the check box.
    If you have set up more than one VAT scheme within Financial Settings, you can’t specify a date range here that spans more than one scheme. A ‘schemes overlapping’ message appears and you must amend the date range.
  • 3. Click Next > the VAT Return appears.

If necessary you can adjust the values in boxes 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9. To do this, next to the relevant box, click Adjust > enter the amount you want to change the value by > enter a reason for the change > Save. You should check the values on your VAT Return. Any adjustment to Box 1 and 4 will result in a correction being posted to the Profit and Loss report. If you believe any of the figures are incorrect you should check with your accountant.

  • 4. To produce a copy of the detailed VAT report, click one of the following options:
  • Printable PDF – Depending on your Internet browser, the report appears in a new tab or new window. Open your browser File menu > choose to print or save the report.
  • Export to CSV file – This produces a CSV file which you can open in Microsoft Excel. Depending on your Internet browser, the file either downloads automatically to your Downloads folder or you may be prompted to save the file to your PC.

If you use a flat rate VAT scheme, a comparison to a standard VAT scheme appears at the bottom of the VAT Return. This shows the cost or benefit to your business of using the flat rate scheme.

  • 5. Next > select one of the following options:
  • Submit online to the Government Gateway – If you select this option, check or enter your credentials and company details > Save > Yes.
  • Submit to HMRC by other means – Select this option if you intend to submit manually through the government gateway > Save.

You’ve now created a VAT Return and an invoice is created in either Expenses or Sales depending on whether you need to pay or reclaim VAT from HMRC.

If for any reason your submission to HMRC wasn’t successful, from the VAT Submissions list, click the relevant return and the reason for the submission failing appears on the right-hand side. You should fix the error and try submitting again.

The most common reason for a VAT Return failing to submit is error code 1046 authentification failure. This is because HMRC can’t recognise the credentials you used to submit your return. If this is the case, click Redo this report and try submitting again with the correct details.

To view a VAT Return

You can view historical VAT Returns and check the payment status from the VAT Submissions list.

  • 1. Click more > VAT Returns.
  • 2. Click the VAT Return that you want view the details for.
  • 3. If required, you can produce a PDF copy of the detailed VAT report or save it as a CSV file.

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