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How do I complete a simple Flat Rate Scheme VAT Return?

If your business operates under the Flat Rate VAT Scheme, follow this guide to make sure that you complete your next VAT return correctly.

First step: What information do I need?

Before you start, make sure you’ve gathered together all the key financial information. This is what you’ll need:

  • Your total turnover (including VAT) for the period covered by the VAT return
  • Your turnover (including VAT) for the period covered by the VAT return in respect of supplies of goods (not services) to other EC Member States
  • The VAT flat rate that applies to your business – remember to reduce this by 1% during your first year as a VAT-registered business.

You’ll also need your login details for HMRC’s Online Services.

This guide assumes that you’re submitting a relatively standard VAT return, and that you’re not claiming Bad Debt Relief or recovering VAT on a single purchase of capital goods over £2,000. If your circumstances are more complicated, it’s best to speak to your accountant.

Second step: Reporting the VAT payable to HMRC

Complete the following boxes:

  • Enter the VAT payable to HMRC in Box 1. This is simply your total turnover (including VAT) multiplied by your VAT flat rate.
  • Enter 0.00 in Box 2 unless there is VAT due (but not paid) on all goods and related services you acquired in this period from other EC Member States.
  • Enter 0.00 in Box 4. Under the Flat Rate Scheme you are not usually entitled to reclaim input tax on purchases.
  • Box 3 and Box 5 are calculated automatically. The figure in Box 5 is the amount of VAT to be paid to HMRC for this period.

Third step: Reporting your turnover

Complete the following boxes:

  • Enter your total turnover including VAT in Box 6 (whole £ only).
  • Enter 0 in Box 7.
  • Enter your turnover in respect of supplies of goods to other EC Member States (including VAT) in Box 8.
  • Enter 0 in Box 9.

Tax doesn't need to be taxing

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