What are VAT Returns?

By Chris Andreou
|
Last updated
June 11, 2024

Contents

What are VAT Returns?What are VAT Returns?

A completed VAT Return will either show how much is owed to HMRC or whether you're due a refund.

VAT Returns are an important part of running a business in the United Kingdom. Every business that is registered for VAT must submit a VAT Return to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) on a regular basis. This is a form that details the amount of VAT that a business has collected and paid during a specific period of time. It is important to understand what VAT Returns are and how to complete them correctly in order to ensure that your business complies with the law and avoids any penalties.

What is a VAT Return?

A VAT Return is a form that is submitted to HMRC on a regular basis. It details the amount of VAT that a business has collected and paid during a specific period of time. This period of time is usually a quarter, although some businesses may be required to submit a return more frequently. The VAT Return must be completed accurately and submitted to HMRC by the due date in order for the business to remain compliant with the law.

What information is included in a VAT Return?

The information that is included in a VAT Return depends on the type of VAT scheme that the business is registered for. The most common type of VAT scheme is the Standard VAT Scheme, which requires the following information to be included:

  • The total amount of VAT due from sales
  • The total amount of VAT due from purchases
  • The total amount of VAT due from imports
  • The total amount of VAT due from exports
  • The total amount of VAT due from other sources
  • The total amount of VAT due from adjustments
  • The total amount of VAT due from bad debts
  • The total amount of VAT due from corrections
  • The total amount of VAT due from reclaims
  • The total amount of VAT due from refunds
  • The total amount of VAT

A completed VAT Return will either show how much is owed to HMRC or whether you’re due a refund.

Read more of our free business tax guides

Free business accounting consultation for contractors, freelancers, self employed and limited companies

Speak to a tax accountant

Get a free 20 minute consultation about your business tax queries

Business accounting from £35