VAT for bookkeepers and accountants – A guide to digital records

This article has been provided by GoSimpleTax.

Provided your clients are VAT-registered and have a taxable turnover above the threshold, you’ll be expected to assist in their Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliance. For the most part, you’ll need to help clients ensure that their VAT records are in a digital format. This will mean an end to any paper-based bookkeeping.

What VAT information must be stored digitally for MTD?

The VAT Notice 700/22 specifies that the following information must be kept, maintained and preserved in digital form:

  1. Business name
  2. Address of principle place of business
  3. Supplies made by third party agents
  4. VAT registration number
  5. VAT accounting scheme used
  6. Supplies made – including the time of supply (tax point), value of supply (net of VAT amount) and rate of VAT charged
  7. Supplies received – including time of supply (tax point), value of supply (net of VAT amount) and value of input tax being claimed

The following information has more specific rules surrounding it:

  1. Use of supplier statementsHMRC will accept totals from supplier statements, rather than individual invoices – however their preference is the latter.
  2. Petty cash transactionsRegarding petty cash transactions, businesses can record these as a total value and total VAT. This applies to individual purchases of less than £50 – subject to a maximum of £500 (including VAT) per entry.
  3. Supplies received by third party agentsYou only need to record the details once you receive the information from the agent. If this is sent as a summary, you can treat it as one invoice for record-keeping purposes.
  4. Charity fundraising events

When it comes to charity fundraising events, record-keeping can be hard. HMRC will accept all supplies made recorded as a single transaction. The same applies to supplies received.

  1. Reverse charge transactions

If your software records reverse charge transactions, you are not required to submit separate entries for supply and purchase. If your software does not record reverse charge transactions, you will need to record these twice – once as a supply made and once as a supply received.

  1. Summary data

HMRC require the following summary data to be recorded:

  • Output tax owed on sales
  • Output owed on purchases from EU member states
  • Tax required to pay as a result of reverse charge rules
  • Input tax claimed on purchases
  • Input tax allowable on purchases from EU member states
  • Total VAT due, or refund claimed after all adjustments
  • Any adjustments required or allowed by the VAT rules
  1. Adjustments

If your client adjusts their VAT amount in line with existing VAT rules, they must log that adjustment within their chosen compatible software. There’s no obligation to log the calculations behind each adjustment, simply the total change to the VAT amount – however, storing calculations somewhere will assist against any future audits. The calculations you make using the HMRC tool can be stored however your client prefers.

  1. Correcting ErrorsYou can correct errors that are not deliberate, below the reporting threshold of £10,000 or for an accounting period that concluded less than four years ago. However, it’s important to ensure that the correcting adjustment is recorded in the compatible software.

Everything not covered above can be stored either digitally or on paper. These include:

  1. Flat Rate – Under this scheme, businesses don’t need to keep a digital record of purchases unless classed as capital expenditure goods (where input tax can be claimed).
  2. Retail – If your client accounts for VAT using a retail scheme, they must keep a digital record of their Daily Gross Takings (DGT). They aren’t required to keep a separate digital record of supplies that make up DGT – just the DGT itself.
  3. Margin Schemes – You are not required to keep the calculation of the marginal VAT charged digitally. However, you will need to keep a record of the adjustment made to the VAT calculation digitally. You are still required to keep the normal records associated with Margin Schemes.

What’s important is that your client has complete understanding that while not all of the above requires logging into their MTD compliance software, refusing to include certain calculations will harm them in the face of an investigation.

You may also find the following videos from GoSimpleTax of use which contain a guide for preparing for MTD for VAT:

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleVAT is a new bridging software product launched by GoSimpleTax, designed to assist businesses through MTD for VAT. Recognised by HMRC and guaranteed to lead you to compliance. You can take advantage of their free 14-day trial or join one of their VAT Webinars for more information and to see just how simple VAT filing through bridging software can be.

IAB professional members can receive a discount on GoSimpleVat.  To find out how to gain the discount please login to the Members’ Area of our website and visit the Member Benefits section.


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