In a recent poll conducted by The Local Bookkeeper, 34% of businesses stated that they are not confident their VAT return is correct. Running a business is difficult enough without worrying about your finances and whether they are being recorded correctly. Unless you are a financial expert, it can be complicated for a business owner to know whether their VAT return is accurate and whether they are using a VAT scheme which is best suited to their business. Many suffer from unnecessary fines as a result of submitting an incorrect VAT return. The Local Bookkeeper has drawn up a list of VAT return Do?s and Don?ts to help you ensure that this is not the case for your business. Do?s: ? Keep all purchase invoices as proof you are allowed to claim back all the VAT that you should; ? Always charge VAT for all sales your companies makes, even the sale of your equipment unless they are specifically exempted. ? Make sure you have included the scale charge for your private motoring fuel which should be added to your VAT account on a monthly or quarterly basis. ? Know you are entitled to claim back VAT on the purchase of a company van. ? Claim back VAT on expenses for staff entertainment, for example the Christmas party. Don?ts: ? Claim back VAT on any purchases that are for private usage. If you have made a purchase that is partly for private and partly for business, you should deduct only what is representative of the private usage. ? Claim back VAT on the purchase of a car. HRMC have a strict definition on what is defined as a car rather than a van, if you are unsure of what your purchase should be categorised as. ? Claim back VAT on client entertainment. This is categorised as a private expense. Although this list covers the majority of purchases you may make, it is not exhaustive and if you are unsure as to whether other financial transactions are eligible, please contact The Local Bookkeeper and we will be happy to give you advice on your VAT position. With the help of a qualified and professional bookkeeper you can be well prepared and have complete peace of mind that your VAT return is correct and will be submitted on time. ¯

Stuart Masters - Director at TFMC
Stuart Masters

Stuart has spent almost 20 years in accounting with a significant amount of time focused on Outsourcing and the provision of bookkeeping and financial management information for businesses.

Specialties: Bookkeeping, Management Accounts, Accounts Outsourcing, Business Development, Business Planning, Year End Accounts.