Paperwork and filling out forms is often time consuming and boring, not to mention difficult. This difficulty is increased when you doing taxes and VAT returns, due to the sheer amount of information you have to review, and the numbers of rules and regulations you must adhere to. HMRC see countless mistakes on VAT returns, which can have serious and costly consequences for the business in question. As such, our experts have listed the most common mistakes people make when completing their VAT returns to help you avoid them.

1. Are you using flat rate VAT?

VAT returns have 8 main boxes to complete, all of which require different information and different calculations to get the right figure. Box 6 is the most common box that HMRC find mistakes in due to people not understanding if they should be using a flat rate VAT or not. If you are, then it is important to check that you have applied the flat rate of VAT to your gross income, rather than your net income.

2. Claiming without a VAT receipt

While there are many goods and services that can be claimed for, it is imperative that you have a VAT receipt in order to make this claim. While you may be entitled to claim VAT back on certain items, if you don’t have a VAT receipt then it is unlikely your claims will be successful. By making claims without these receipts, you can be challenged, and find yourselves in a challenging situation with HMRC.

3. Not asking for help

VAT returns can be difficult, especially when you are trying to organise and manage every other part of your business. But you don’t have to be solely responsible for your returns, and finding outside assistance can be easy. By finding professionals who are VAT experts, you can outsource your stress and worry, knowing that your finances are being looked after by professions. It also means your VAT returns will be done correctly by an independent examiner, so you won’t have any future problems with HMRC.

Common mistakes when completing your VAT returns – where to find out more

At PK Bookkeeping, we pride ourselves on quality and dedication, offering tailored and bespoke bookkeeping services to suit your business needs. We operate across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, and have received many glowing testimonials. For more information about our services please visit our Services page, or contact us to discuss how we can help you avoid costly mistakes on your VAT returns.

Photo: Calculating savings by wuestenigel licensed under Creative commons 4