What is invoice accounting for VAT?

Definition of invoice accounting for VAT

Invoice accounting is the standard way to add up your VAT for your VAT return. It means that you will pay VAT to HMRC when you've invoiced your customers, regardless of when your customers pay you.

When you are invoice accounting for VAT, you may have to pay HMRC the VAT on your invoices before your customers have paid you. Conversely, you may be able to reclaim the VAT on your bills before you pay your suppliers.

Example of invoice accounting for VAT

A business prepares VAT returns to the quarters ending 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December.

The business is invoice accounting for VAT and it issues an invoice dated 1st March, which the customer pays for on 1st April. This invoice will go on the VAT return to 31st March, because that is the quarter in which the invoice was dated.

Software for invoice accounting

FreeAgent's accounting software tackles the complexities of the UK VAT system, supporting invoice and cash basis VAT returns, the Flat Rate Scheme and more.

Disclaimer: The content included in this glossary is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this glossary. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.

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