Thursday, March 30, 2023

How to File Your VAT Return Online and Why You Should Do It


Are you tired of the hassle and confusion that comes with filing your VAT returns on paper? Look no further! In this post, we'll show you how to file your VAT return online in just a few simple steps. Not only is it quicker and more efficient than traditional methods, but there are also numerous benefits to doing so. From reducing errors to saving money on postage fees, filing your VAT return online is a smart move for any business owner. So let's dive into the world of digital tax returns and make your life easier!

What is a VAT Return?

VAT Returns are periodic reports that businesses file with the government detailing their Value-Added Tax (VAT) liability. This information is used to calculate the amount of VAT owed to or refundable from the government. Businesses must file a VAT Return even if they do not owe any VAT for the reporting period. 

There are several different types of VAT Returns, depending on the type of business and its accounting method. The most common type of return is the Standard Return, which businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 must use. Other types of returns include the Annual Return, which businesses with a taxable turnover below £85,000 can use; the Flat Rate Return, for businesses that have elected to use the Flat Rate Scheme; and the Cash Accounting Return, for businesses that elect to pay VAT on a cash basis.

The frequency with which businesses must file VAT Returns varies depending on their circumstances. Most businesses will have to file quarterly, although some may be required to file monthly or annually.

Why is it Important to File Your VAT Return Online?

There are many reasons why you should file your VAT return online. It is important to do so because:

-You will save time. Filing your VAT return online is quicker and easier than doing it by paper.

-It is more accurate. By filing online, you can avoid mistakes that could lead to errors on your return.

-You will get a faster refund. If you are entitled to a refund, you will receive it more quickly if you file online.

-It is more convenient. You can file your return from anywhere with an internet connection, at any time of day or night.

Steps to Filing a VAT Return Online

If you're running a business in the UK, you'll need to file a Value Added Tax (VAT) return with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) every quarter. But don't worry - it's not as complicated as it sounds, and you can even do it online. Here's a step-by-step guide to filing your VAT return online:

1. Log in to your HMRC Online Services account. If you don't have an account yet, you can sign up for one on the HMRC website.

2. Select 'File a VAT Return' from the list of options on the left-hand side of the screen.

3. Enter the period that you're filing your return for - this will be either one month or three months, depending on how often you file VAT returns.

4. Enter your total sales and purchases for the period, including any relevant VAT amounts.

5. If you're due a refund from HMRC, enter your bank details so they can process the payment.

6. Review your return to make sure everything is correct, then submit it.

That's it! You've now filed your VAT return online - easy, right?

Common Mistakes when Filing a VAT Return Online

There are a few common mistakes that businesses make when filing their VAT returns online:

1. Not keeping accurate records: It is essential to keep accurate records of all transactions that are subject to VAT in order to file an accurate return. This includes sales invoices, receipts and any other documentation relating to transactions.

2. Incorrectly calculating the VAT due: When calculating the VAT due on your return, it is important to use the correct VAT rates for the items you have sold. Remember that different items have different rates of VAT and some items may be exempt from VAT altogether.

3. Failing to file on time: Returns must be filed online by the deadline in order to avoid penalties and interest charges. Make sure you allow enough time to complete the return accurately, as rushing it could lead to mistakes being made.

4. Not declaring all income: All income from sales that are subject to VAT must be declared on your return, even if you have not yet received payment for them. This also applies to any services you have provided which are exempt from VAT but where you have elected to tax them.

5. Claiming too much or too little input tax: You can only claim back the input tax (VAT paid on purchases) that relates directly to taxable sales you have made during the period covered by the return. If you claim back too much input tax, you will have to pay it back plus interest and penalties; if you claim

Benefits of Filing a VAT Return Online

By filing your VAT return online, you can save time and money. Here are some of the benefits of doing so:

1. You can do it from anywhere.

You can file your VAT return online from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This means you don’t have to be in the same country as your registered office or place of business to file your return.

2. It’s fast and easy.

Filing a VAT return online is quick and easy. You can do it in just a few minutes, and you don’t need any special software or equipment. All you need is a computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

3. You don’t have to worry about paper forms.

With online filing, you don’t have to worry about paper forms getting lost in the mail or being misplaced. Everything is done electronically, so there’s no risk of losing important documents.

4. You can get help if you need it.

If you have any questions about how to file your VAT return online, there are plenty of resources available to help you. The HMRC website has detailed guidance, and there are also many helpful articles and videos available online from tax experts.

Tips for Making Tax Time Easier

1. Keep good records: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to keep track of all your receipts and invoices throughout the year. Doing so will make it much easier to file your VAT return online come tax time.

2. Use accounting software: There are a number of great accounting software programs out there that can help make filing your VAT return online a breeze. Find one that fits your needs and budget and put it to good use.

3. Get help from an accountant: If you're not comfortable filing your VAT return online on your own, seek out the help of a professional accountant. They can ensure that everything is done correctly and help take some of the stress out of the process.


Filing your VAT return online is the most efficient way to manage your taxes, as it saves you time and money. With automated reminders, more accurate filing of information and clear user guides, you can quickly submit your returns without any worries. Furthermore, if you need help or advice while submitting a VAT return online, there are many professional services that will be able to assist you with whatever queries or issues that may arise. So now that you know how easy it is to file your VAT return online - what are you waiting for? Start filing today!


Author: verified_user