VAT return process

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The VAT Return is a three stage process:

  1.     Fuel Scale Charges Journal;
  2.     VAT Return; and
  3.     VAT Transfer Journal.

Fuel Scale Charges Journal

The actual scales charges keep changing so I will not risk stating any values here.

The principle is quite simple, some of the VAT you reclaim on vehicle expenses relates to the personal use of vehicles, the VAT man wants it back, rather than have everyone argue about how much personal use is made of vehicles a set charge is applied against each vehicle, the amount of the charge depends on the size of the engine and the fuel used. You can find out the current rates at the Customs & Excise website together with the full rules.

The charge is applied by increasing your sales turnover and sales VAT. The turnover is increased in order to not alter the ratio of VAT to Turnover (The VAT office monitor this as part of the decision making process as to who is inspected).

Why increase Sales and not reduce Purchases, because this could in some circumstances result in negative purchase VAT or turnover and computer systems have problems with negative values where they were designed for only positive ones.

To make this journal easy to do Sage provide a Wizard.

To use the wizard select wizards from the Modules menu and Scale Charges wizard from the sub menu. The system should remember your Fuel Scale charges account and know where the VAT account is, so all you need to do is enter the Gross Charge and add a reference, description and date (It's a good idea to state the period for which you are doing the journal in the description).

Add up all the gross charges for all the vehicles and put it in the gross box to do this as one transaction for all vehicles if you want.

Vat Return

The VAT return is very simple in Sage, as mentioned earlier all transactions have a VAT flag, this is either, - Nothing to do with VAT, N not reconciled or R reconciled.

When you run the vat return, you specify the period, the return will however check all date prior to that period and if any unreconcilled transactions are found (ie they were back dated after the last return) it will prompt you to include them.

There are three levels of detail in the VAT return, The VAT return itself is the top level, underneath that there is an analysis into the different Tax codes and types of transactions and at the bottom level you get every transaction.

  •     Click the VAT button to display the VAT screen;
  •     Enter the date range for the VAT return and click the Calculate button;
  •     If back dated transactions are found a dialogue will appear;
  •     Always include these transactions - click Yes button to include these transactions;
  •     You can now get more details on any figure with a grey background, clicking on VAT due on sales to produce the details of items making up the balance;
  •     All these figures can be drilled for further details by double clicking on the T1 Sales invoice box - the list of all transactions is produced;
  •     Print the report using the Print button at the bottom of the VAT return screen;
  •     Select report type you want (you can have them all) the output and press Run;
  •     When the report has finished you can reconcile the transaction by pressing the Reconcile button;

As transactions could be entered between printing the report and reconciling we recommend that you do not leave the VAT return screen between printing and reconciling. (Note for multiusers systems, The system is locked for all other users whilst in the VAT return screen)

Vat Transfer Journal

The VAT transfer journal deducts the Sales VAT on the return from the Sales Account and transfers it to 2202 (The VAT Liability Account) It also does the same with the Purchase VAT. All that should be left in the Sales and Purchase VAT accounts are the future dated transactions.

The Transfer wizard remembers what the values were from when you ran the VAT return, so all you really have to do is put the right date on the transaction.

To check the remaining balance in Sales and Purchase VAT, run a VAT return with an end date in a years time, the VAT and Purchase amounts should match. NB if you are running CASH ACCOUNTING then you need to print a list of unreconciled VAT transactions and check them that way.