There’s a lot of paperwork involved in running your own business – that includes keeping up with all the different tax regulations. And one of the most important taxes to keep track of is VAT, or Value Added Tax. That’s because this tax applies to just about everything you buy and sell, which means it can be very important to know how much VAT you owe to HMRC at any given time.
What is VAT?
If you’re a business owner in the UK, you’ve likely heard of VAT. But what is it? Value-added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is levied on goods and services at every stage of the production process. The end consumer ultimately pays the VAT, which is collected by businesses and remitted to the government.
VAT is one of the most common types of consumption tax in the world, and is used by more than 160 countries. In the UK, VAT was introduced in 1973 and currently stands at 20%.
Businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their supplies of goods and services, and also account for any VAT that they have incurred on their own purchases (known as input tax). They can then reclaim any input tax that exceeds their output tax liability.
The amount of VAT that a business charges on its supplies depend on the VAT rate that applies to those supplies. Standard-rated supplies are taxed at 20%, reduced-rated supplies are taxed at 5%, and zero-rated supplies are not subject to VAT.
Businesses must submit a quarterly VAT return to HMRC detailing their sales, purchases, and other relevant information. They then pay any outstanding tax liability or claim a refund for any overpaid tax.
VAT can be a complex topic, but thankfully there are plenty of resources available to help businesses comply with their obligations. With the right advice, businesses can ensure that they stay on top of
Why do your VAT return online?
There are many reasons why you should do your VAT return online this year. Here are just a few:
1. It’s more efficient
Doing your VAT return online is more efficient than doing it manually. You can enter your data into the system and then submit it with just a few clicks. This means that you can get your return done much faster, and you won’t have to worry about making any mistakes.
2. It’s easier
Another reason why you should do your VAT return online is that it’s easier than doing it manually. You don’t have to fill out any paper forms or calculate anything yourself. Everything is done for you, so all you need to do is enter your data and submit it.
3. You can get help if you need it
If you’re not sure how to do your VAT return or you need some help, there are plenty of resources available online. You can find step-by-step guides, FAQs, and even live chat support if you need it. This means that you can get the help you need without having to go into an office or speak to someone on the phone.
Benefits of doing your VAT return online
The government has been encouraging businesses to file their VAT returns online for a while now. And for good reason – it’s estimated that doing your VAT return online saves businesses an average of £10,000 a year in time and resources. Here are some of the key benefits of doing your VAT return online:
- Online filing is faster and more efficient than paper filing, meaning you’ll save time and money on processing your return.
- You can access your VAT account 24/7, so you can keep on top of your tax affairs even when you’re on the go.
- Online filing is more secure than paper filing, so you can be confident that your sensitive financial information is safe and sound.
- You’ll get instant confirmation that your return has been filed, so you can rest assured that everything has been taken care of.
How to do your VAT return online
If you’re registered for VAT, you must file a return with HMRC every 3 months. You can do this online, by phone, or by post.
The deadline for filing your return is the 1st of the month following the end of the quarter – so if your accounting period ends on 31 March, you must file your return by 1 May.
To file your return online, you’ll need to log in to HMRC’s website and follow the instructions. You’ll need to provide information about your sales and purchases, as well as any VAT you’ve charged or paid.
If you’re not sure how to do your VAT return, HMRC has a helpful step-by-step guide on its website. You can also find plenty of information and advice from accountants and bookkeepers.
We hope this article has convinced you to file your VAT return online this year. Doing so is not only more convenient, but it can also help you save time and money. With the right software, filing your return can be a breeze. So why not give it a try?