VAT record keeping
VAT-registered businesses must:
- keep records of sales and purchases
- keep a separate summary of VAT called a VAT account
- issue correct VAT invoices
Most VAT registered businesses who earn over £85,000 must follow the rules for ‘Making Tax Digital for VAT’.
If you’ve signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT, the records you need to keep are the same as any VAT-registered business but you’ll need to keep some of them digitally.
How to keep VAT records
You must keep VAT records for at least 6 years (or 10 years if you use the VATMOSS service).
You can keep VAT records on paper, electronically or as part of a software program (such as book-keeping software). Records must be accurate, complete and readable.
If you’ve signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT, you must keep a digital record of anything that is needed for your VAT Return.
If you’ve lost a VAT invoice or it is damaged and no longer readable, ask the supplier for a duplicate (marked ‘duplicate’).
HMRC can visit your business to inspect your record keeping and charge you a penalty if your records are not in order.
You can hire a professional (such as an accountant) if you need help with your VAT.