Guide to Online Submission of UK VAT Returns and Payments

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vat-returnSubmission of VAT returns on time is an important aspect of any business to maintain a good reputation and avoid any hassle or any fine levied by the Government on the same business in case the business is considered as a VAT defaulter by the Government. Businesses having an authentic UK VAT registration, by law should submit their VAT returns online. The payment needs to be done electronically. Today we'll highlight the various aspects and methods of online submission of VAT returns.

Online VAT Returns

All VAT related returns and payments should be submitted electronically. We would like to tell you that there's an exception if you satisfy any one or both of these two conditions:

  • Your business is involved with any religious activities that prevent you from using computers.
  • You are unable to use a computer for any specific reason like physical disabilities, age or a remote location to submit your VAT returns.

In case you satisfy any one or both of the above two conditions, you can consider alternate arrangements regarding VAT returns and payments.

After you have completed all the VAT registration formalities, you need to login into your account for completing your VAT returns and payments. You should have already got your VAT number after a successful completion of VAT registration. Keep that in hand while you are doing your VAT returns or other payments.

Setting up your Account

You can set your account in a manner to:

  • pay VAT as a direct debit.
  • view your completed payments and other outstanding liabilities.
  • report your business changes.
  • sign up on the site for various e-mail reminders that will be able to inform you the fact whether your VAT return's due or not.

You can also use the same account for:

  • submitting ESL (EC sales list),
  • submitting RCSL (reverse Charge Sales list),
  • submitting an application for EU VAT refunds,
  • informing the Govt. of any vehicle that you have purchased and brought the same into the country permanently.

Benefits of online VAT Returns

The benefits of submitting your VAT returns online can be summed up in a few points.

  • Submission of online VAT returns ensures a safe as well as secured method of sending VAT returns to the Govt.
  • You'll receive an acknowledgement of your payment on the screen itself. That will confirm the fact that you have completed your VAT return and the Govt. has received the same.
  • The automated reminder will remind you the fact whether your Vat return is due or not. Hence, you can easily complete your VAT returns on time and avoid any penalty for late payment.
  • Online returns will provide you with automatic calculations of VAT returns. This will curb any errors associated with VAT return calculations.
  • Signing up for online VAT returns will give you an extra 7 calendar days for submitting VAT returns and other associated defaulted payment. The extra 7 days mentioned in the above statement is made in comparison with the prescribed due date referred in offline VAT return and payments. Online direct debit will provide you an additional benefit of 10 extra calendar days. This benefit can thus be considered the best among the lot.

Instructions for completing the boxes from 1-9 in your online VAT Return Form

You should follow the following instructions while filling up your online VAT return form:

  • You shouldn't leave any box empty while filling up the form even if it's not applicable for you. If a specific box isn't relevant for you, you should fill in the box with 0.00.
  • There's a high chance that while entering the payment amount, there's no involvement of pence. Please remember that you should not skip the "pence" section in the form. You should type "00" in that section if there's no involvement of pence.
  • Do not enter more than one amount in any box.
  • There might be a case in which you have to enter negative amounts in boxes 1-4. For online VAT returns, insert a minus (-) symbol before such amounts on VAT returns. Example, -200.00.

Availing online VAT returns is an effective way to submit your VAT returns and other related payments on time. People have the notion that having a VAT registration is a form of hassle due to the paperwork involved and other technical difficulties. This simple hassle can be curbed by submitting your return on time. That would definitely make this submission less of a problem and more of a solution.

Contributed by

A post by Allan Lloyd (6 Posts)

Allan Lloyd is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Allan has worked extensively with Companies House in the field of company formation, covering private companies limited by shares, limited by guarantee (non-profits), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Right to Manage Companies (RTM).

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