How do you make a successful late VAT claim?

It is a horror that is all too frequent, you find a batch of purchase invoices on which VAT hasn’t been reclaimed. They date back a few years and you think that it may be too late to reclaim the VAT. So what is and isn’t allowed?

 

Right to claim VAT

The rules for reclaiming VAT paid on purchases of goods or services (input tax) are easily misunderstood. Strictly, input tax should be claimed for the VAT return period in which the “tax point” occurred. The tax point is usually either the time the goods or services were supplied to you or when you paid for them, whichever is earlier. Generally, input tax claimed at any other time is a correction so subject to the rules which apply.

In practice

In real life there are often situations when a claim can’t be made in the proper VAT period. For example, if you haven’t received the necessary evidence, e.g. an invoice. Whatever the reason, a correction can be made by reclaiming the input tax in a later return or via a standalone claim.

Tip. If the amount you are claiming is significant, rather than wait until your next return to get your VAT back, make a standalone claim immediately.

The time limit for reclaiming VAT runs from the due date for the VAT return covering the date of purchase. That means it can be up to four years and three months or considerably longer for pre-registration purchases. Use a standalone claim to get a refund sooner. If you need more help or advice, then our tax services could be perfect for you – simply give us a call.

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