Correcting Errors on Your VAT Return

Picture the scene: it’s the end of the month, you’ve just submitted your VAT return for the quarter, you close your laptop and there behind it is a small pile of invoices that you’d forgotten to include.

This isn’t uncommon.  Here’s a few questions that you might be thinking:

Can I amend the return that I’ve submitted?

Unfortunately not, once the return is submitted there is no mechanism to adjust or amend it.

Can I just pay the correct amount?

Again, this isn’t accepted by HMRC. Their systems will assume you’ve under/overpaid and may charge interest & penalties or refund any overpayment.

OK, how do I make the correction?

There are two methods to fix an error on a VAT return, and which one to use depends on the size of the mistake.

  • If the net value of the errors is £10,000 or less; or
  • Less than 1% of your box 6 figure and less than £50,000

Then you can adjust the mistake on your next VAT return by adding the value to box 1 or box 4 as required. You will also need to keep details of the inaccuracy should HMRC ever enquire about the return.

If the errors do not meet the threshold above, then you are required to report them to HMRC immediately.

You should complete a form VAT652 which can be found here:

HMRC may charge you interest and penalties if they deem the error to be due to careless or dishonest behaviour.

If you’d like any assistance in making the adjustments, please feel free to get in touch with our team on 0116 242 3400.

Matt Smith- Accountant, Audit & Tax Matt Smith


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