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VAT Return: Get It Wrong And You Could Face A £100,000 Fine

VAT Return


Many UK businesses still rely on paper-based VAT returns, which need to be submitted by the end of January. There are also a number of pitfalls that can lead to fines, so read this blog carefully to avoid them!

What is VAT?

VAT, or Value Added Tax, is a tax that is levied on the sale of goods and services in the European Union (EU). The standard rate of VAT in the UK is 20%. businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their sales, and collect VAT on their purchases. They then pay the difference to HMRC.

If you make a mistake on your VAT return, you could be liable for a fine of up to £100,000. So it’s important to get it right!

Here are some key things to remember when preparing your VAT return:

– Check that all figures are correct, including prices and quantities.

– Make sure you include all relevant invoices and receipts.

– Keep track of any changes in VAT rates, as these can affect how much tax you need to pay.

– Remember that you can claim back VAT on certain expenses, such as fuel or office supplies.

If you’re unsure about anything, it’s always best to speak to an accountant or another expert before submitting your return.

Why You Need to File a Return Online

If you’re reading this, then it’s likely that you’re already aware of the many benefits of filing your VAT return online. Not only is it more convenient and efficient, but it can also help you to avoid potential penalties.

However, even if you’re familiar with the process, it’s important to make sure that you understand the specific requirements for filing a return online. After all, getting it wrong could result in a fine of up to £5,000!

Here are some key things to keep in mind when filing your return online:

  1. You must use HMRC-recognised software
  2. You must have a Government Gateway account
  3. Your return must be filed within the specified time period (generally 14 days after the end of the VAT period)
  4. You must submit accurate information

Failure to meet any of these requirements could result in a penalty, so it’s important to make sure that you’re familiar with the process before starting. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact HMRC or your accountant for guidance.

How to Get Help with VAT Returns

If you’re registered for VAT, you must file a return with HMRC detailing what you’ve sold and how much VAT you’ve collected. This return is due every 3 months and the deadline is always the same: the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, if your quarter ends on 31 March, your return would be due by 30 April.

If you don’t submit your return on time or if it’s inaccurate, you could be fined up to £400. So it’s important to get it right!

Here are some ways to get help with your VAT return:

  1. Use accounting software: This can help to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and that your calculations are accurate.
  2. Ask your accountant for help: If you’re using an accountant to do your bookkeeping, they can usually help with preparing and submitting your VAT return too.
  3. Use HMRC’s online services: HMRC offers various online services that can help with calculating, filing and paying your VAT return. You’ll need to register for these services first.
  4. Call HMRC: If you’re having trouble with your VAT return or have any questions, you can call HMRC’s helpline for advice.


If you’re registered for VAT, it’s important that you file your VAT return correctly and on time. If you don’t, you could face a fine of up to £100,000. To avoid this, make sure you understand the requirements of the VAT return and take the time to fill it out correctly. You can also use software to help you with this process, which can make it easier and less stressful.

Posted in Tax

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