VAT Guides

21 Costly VAT Mistakes businesses make on their VAT Returns

VAT return

Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake?

Now if you think this is some playground joke, think again. This is a real question that judges were asked to consider in a landmark VAT case.

The fact it took a court case to work out the answer to this question gives you an insight into just how complicated the UK’s VAT system has become. If HMRC, can’t answer such a simple question, what hope is there for busy small business owners?

With the complexity of the VAT laws it’s understandable that businesses make mistakes on their VAT returns. However, these mistakes can be very costly both in terms of paying the wrong amount of VAT and also triggering a VAT investigation.

To help you avoid making these expensive mistakes, we asked Jonathan Amponsah, founder of The Tax Guys, to reveal the 21 common mistakes small businesses make on VAT Returns. (more…)

VAT pitfalls you should be aware of

If you are registered for VAT, have to file a VAT return in the near future, or are concerned about putting the wrong amounts on your VAT return, here are 5 VAT traps to watch out for.
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How small business owners can reclaim EC VAT

If you want to increase profits or cut costs, make sure you reclaim all the VAT you can.

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But even before the global economic slowdown began Ernst & Young surveys revealed “a surprising tolerance of failures to track, fully report and legitimately reclaim indirect taxes”. Businesses of all sizes are losing significant sums this way.

In this summary, we will focus only on the mountain of foreign EC VAT that goes unreclaimed.
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What is the VAT cash accounting scheme?

The VAT cash accounting scheme is a useful tool for many small businesses, as you only repay VAT to HMRC once you have received payment yourself. If you have cashflow concerns, the scheme could be a lifesaver!
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VAT calculator for small businesses

This handy calculator will work out how much VAT you should charge a customer based on your net billing. Also use this script to work out how much VAT is included in a VAT-Inclusive sum.

The current VAT rate used in the calculations is 20%.
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Top 10 VAT Tips for small businesses

Here are some tips to help small businesses keep on top of their VAT responsibilities – from choosing the right VAT scheme in the first place, to avoiding getting on the wrong side of HMRC.
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VAT accounting for mixed business and non-business purposes

The issue of VAT accounting when the goods involved are put to both business and non-business purposes is perhaps more widespread than many would first consider.

Careful use of the so-called ‘Lennartz Accounting’ scheme can provide cash flow benefit for a number of organisations.
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