VAT Accounting and Returns

VAT is a complex area. From the rules governing VAT registration to payment deadlines, it is a minefield at the best of times.

AA Global Sourcing Ltd Lean Accountant looks after hundreds of VAT registered businesses, from clients that do all the VAT compliance in-house to those that need all the bookeeping and VAT submission work done for them.


Some businesses choose to register for VAT before they are legally required to. This is usually because either (1) the business is paying significant amounts of VAT on purchases and it will benefit in cash terms from registering (2) the client wants to appear larger to their customers.

Prepare, review, submit

You can use us as much or as little as you like in the process of completing each VAT return:
• Preparation can either be done by you or by us as part of our bookkeeping service.
• Some clients do the preparation themselves, and then get us to review the return prior to submission.
• Submission must be done online, and again, we can do it for you if you wish.

Submissions and payment deadlines

VAT returns must be received by HMRC and payments must have cleared into HMRC’s bank account by the due date. Please note that if a due date falls on a weekend, the payment must clear before the weekend.

There are two options:
1. If you pay electronically – and this is a requirement for returns submitted online – then the due date is the 7th day of the month following the month after the end of the VAT quarter. For example, if you are due to make a VAT return to 30th April, then the return must be filed and the funds cleared into HMRC’s bank account by 7th June.

2. If you agree to pay by direct debit, then you get an extra 3 days – IE HMRC will collect payment from your nominated bank account a further 3 bank working days after the due date set out in 1. above. Please note that returns must be submitted by the 7th.

Late filing or late payment

HMRC have introduced harsh and rigidly enforced surcharges for late filing and late payment, which increase if it has been less than 12 months since a filing or a payment was last late.

Surcharges are calculated as a percentage of the VAT due. The first default does not give rise to a penalty, but the percentage rises from 2% the second time you are late to 15% the 5th time you are late. The clock does not reset until filings and payments have been made on time for 12 months.

We have efficient processes and experienced staff that will do all they can to get submissions made on time. Payment is down to you!

Help us to help you

Get the data we need to us as soon as the VAT quarter has ended, and respond promptly to any queries we have, and we will get your VAT return submitted on time.

Click here to contact us now for your first free consultation so that we can provide you with a low priced business bookkeeping solution.