Correcting errors

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Correcting errors
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) - correcting errors
  • Types of errors
  • Records
  • Invoicing
  • VAT return
  • Methods of error correction
  • Method 1
  • Method 2
  • When to correct an error
  • More...

Correcting errors

This guidance note provides an overview of the correct procedure that should be adopted by a business that discovers it has made an error in respect of its VAT accounting records or returns. A summary of the error correction procedure can be found in Flowchart ― correct errors on previous VAT returns.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - correcting errors

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted HMRC’s ability to process error corrections by post. As a result, it has requested that error correction forms VAT 652 are submitted by email. See further in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and VAT - further VAT consequences guidance note.

Types of errors

The following provides an overview of the typical types of errors and the procedure that needs to be used to correct the error.


If a business ascertains that it has made an error in the VAT books and records then it will need to correct these errors. If the error has resulted in incorrect figures being declared on a submitted VAT return, the business may be able to correct the error on a later VAT return (see below). It should be noted that if HMRC concludes the business has deliberately failed to correct an under-declaration on a VAT return, the business could be liable to a financial penalty or even criminal prosecution. See the Managing serious defaulters and Overview of criminal investigations guidance notes for more information.

If the business discovers it has made an error in respect of its VAT records and the error covers a period in which the VAT return has not been submitted, it is entitled to correct the error by amending its records. The business must ensure that it keeps clear records of the adjustments undertaken and keeps supporting documentation where applicable.


If the business discovers it has shown the incorrect VAT amounton a sales invoice that has been issued, such as calculating the wrong amountof VAT or incorrectly charging VAT on the invoice, then one

Popular documents