Submit a Zero VAT Return

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File Zero VAT Return in the UK

What is a Zero VAT return?

If your company is VAT registered, you are required to submit a VAT return to HM Revenue and Customs every 3 months. In your company’s VAT return, you are required to submit the following information to update HMRC:


  • Total sales and purchases
  • The amount of VAT you owe
  • The amount of VAT you can reclaim
  • What your refund from HMRC is


If you have no VAT to pay or reclaim, you are still required to submit a VAT return. This would be called a Zero VAT Return.


If you have VAT to pay and reclaim and you need assistance with completing your VAT return, we can refer you onto an accountant who may be able to assist you.


When do I need to file a Zero VAT return?


You are required to submit a VAT return to HMRC every 3 months. Details on when your VAT return is due can be accessed on your VAT online account.


What happens if I do not file a VAT return?


HMRC will record a ‘default’ against your company if:


  • They don’t receive your VAT return on time
  • Full payment for the VAT due on your VAT return doesn’t reach their account by the deadline


If you fail to meet any of the above, then HMRC will record a default against your company and you will enter a 12 month ‘surcharge period’ where your company will be monitored to ensure the VAT returns are filed.
However, if you default again (fail to file your VAT return on time) during your surcharge period then:


  • The surcharge period is extended for a further 12 months
  • You may have to pay an extra amount on top of the VAT you owe


HMRC will issue you a letter explaining any surcharges you owe and what happens if you default again. Your surcharge is a percentage of the VAT outstanding on the due date. This will be outlined in the letter HMRC sends to you. You will not be charged a surcharge for your first default.

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