Five Things You Need to Know About VAT Accounting

You may know nothing about VAT Accounting, but that doesn’t mean that you should remain ignorant. If you’re a VAT taxpayer, the more you know about it, the more benefit you and your business can derive from it. Here are five essential things that you need to know about VAT Accounting.

1 – VAT Registration and De-Registration
How do you know whether you should register or de-register for VAT? If your turnover is more than ¬£68,000 per year, you must register for VAT. If your turnover for the year is under ¬£66,000, you are allowed to de-register. Once you’ve registered for VAT, that’s when a VAT consultant will be useful to you. They can advise you on the latest regulations and keep you and your business on the good side of HM Revenue and Customs.

2 – VAT Schemes
Businesses that are registered for VAT need to account for tax when they invoice customers or when their own suppliers invoice them. HM Revenue and Customs has a number of VAT schemes that allow your business to save time or only account for VAT when they are actually paid. To work out which scheme bests suits you, seek the qualified advice of an experienced VAT advisor.

3 – VAT Records
It is your legal and mandatory obligation to keep accurate VAT records regarding any tax paid or received. You need to keep these records for a fixed number of years and there are penalties for poorly kept records. Keeping accurate VAT records helps you to avoid paying too much tax. To find out more about keeping accurate VAT records, speak to a VAT accounting specialist.

4 – VAT Responsibilities
Do you know what your VAT responsibilities are? If not, you could fall foul of the VAT penalty system. A VAT consultant will let you know your VAT responsibilities and help you to stick to them. You don’t need to be a VAT expert when you have a VAT adviser, they’ll keep you informed of all your responsibilities regarding Value Added Tax.

5 – VAT Penalties
As of 2009, a brand new VAT penalty system is in place. There are two scenarios under which a penalty will apply. The first is in the case of failure to notify about an under-assessment. This occurs when a VAT Return is not submitted and Customs have to estimate the assessment. If this assessment is lower than the actual figure it should be and the taxpayer does not inform HM Revenue and Customs, then a penalty is liable. Outsource Accounting 

Second, when someone submits a document that includes an error, this will also trigger a penalty. An error when reasonable care was not taken will be punished with 30% penalty. An error which is deliberate but not concealed from HM Revenue & Customs will be punished with a 70% penalty fine. Finally, an error which is deliberate and where concealment can be proved will result in a 100% fine. By using a professional VAT consultant, you can avoid making mistakes and paying the price for it.

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