How VAT Returns Have Changed Over The Years

Over the years, certain changes have occurred in VAT returns and we will consider some of those changes in this write-up, especially as they concern the year 2019 and compare such changes to what obtained in the past.

Electronic recording

All businesses are expected to maintain an electronic record of every business transaction on record keeping software approved by the authorities before they can successfully make VAT returns.  If your business is not using the accounting software currently, then you just must buy the software and also invest in the tanning on how to use it, aside from getting a working internet connection, which will be required to use the form and also send the completed form to the appropriate authorities.

While there may be changes to the way VAT is being compiled as described above, there will be no change to the way it is calculated. The deadline for online submission is still the same.

The major change that has occurred in VAT returns is the adoption of an electronic submission method online what obtains in the past.  The rule does not apply to everyone, but to those who have an income in excess for the VA threshold of £85,000. If your company’s income is less than that, then you are spared of this electronics submission change.  

The series of changes are expected to continue as the years roll by. For example, there are indications that expenditure and income records must be submitted via electronic means as described above from April 2020 before income tax can be calculated.

According to HMRC, a shortfall of £12.6bn has been recorded between the total VAT collected and what should be collected. It is believed the reverting to an electronic method of VAT returns will help take care of this problem by narrowing the gap and reducing errors associated with record-keeping, aside from preventing tax evasion.

Business owners will no longer use the paper-based record-keeping system for calculating VAT owed by the business before they manually enter calculations or submit a paper return on the HMRC website.  Be that as it may, they can still keep paper records if they enter information from the invoice into the electronic system.

Businesses that are using electronic spreadsheets, like Microsoft Excel, will equally need to invest in bridging software or specialized accounting software. Also, the software will not be free for use by the business owners submitting VAT.  Software approved by HMRC is available on the HMRC website. Visit here for more information.