VAT record keeping requirements

Produced by Tolley
VAT record keeping requirements

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

  • VAT record keeping requirements
  • Required VAT records
  • VAT account
  • VAT invoices
  • Making Tax Digital (MTD)
  • Other business records
  • Record keeping requirements for persons who are not VAT registered
  • Businesses registered under the VAT MOSS scheme
  • Record retention period
  • Engravers, typesetters and litho plate makers
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant changes began to take effect across the UK’s VAT and customs regime. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit — overview guidance note.

This guidance note provides an overview of the VAT record keeping requirements that VAT registered businesses should adhere to. These records will normally be requested by HMRC during a VAT inspection and will form the basis of the information that is included on the VAT return. The books and records maintained by the business must be kept up to date and made available if reasonably requested by HMRC. The books and records must be kept in a format which enables HMRC to easily check to the figures used to complete the VAT return.

Required VAT records

Businesses are legally required to keep the following records.

VAT account

The VAT account is the link between the business records and the amounts included on the VAT return. It can also be referred to as a VAT summary. There is no prescribed format that must be used when preparing a VAT account; however, it must contain the following information:

  1. total output tax due on sales split between standard-rated and reduced-rated sales

  2. total output tax due on purchases of goods from other EU countries (acquisition tax) ― see the Buying goods from other EU vendors (rules until 31 December 2020) guidance note for more information

  3. total VAT due under the reverse charge on the purchase of services from overseas vendors ― see the Reverse charge ― buying in services from outside the UK guidance note for more information

  4. purchases of goods / services where the customer is required to account for the domestic reverse charge (eg

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