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Reclaiming VAT

Newsletter issue - November 2011.

Before you can reclaim VAT on goods and services you have bought you need to check the following:

  1. The purchase was for business purposes – not for your personal needs.
  2. The purchase is not a type that is 'blocked' for VAT reclaims, such as entertaining expenses.
  3. You have a valid VAT invoice.

A valid VAT invoice should include all of the following details:

  • The supplier's name, address and VAT registration number.
  • Unique invoice number for that supplier.
  • The name and address of the person to whom the goods are supplied (this will be your business).
  • Date of issue of the invoice and time of supply of the goods or services (this may be the same as the date of issue).
  • A description of the goods or services supplied including:
    • The unit price
    • The rate of VAT charged
    • The amount payable excluding VAT
  • The total amount payable for the whole invoice excluding VAT.
  • Rate of any discount available.
  • Total amount of VAT charged.

Retailers can issue less detailed invoices for purchase of up to £250, but that invoice must still show key details such as the name, address and VAT number of the supplier, nature of the goods and the rate of VAT applicable.

Be careful not to mistake any of the following documents for a valid VAT invoice:

  • Supplier statement;
  • Delivery note;
  • Request for payment; or
  • Pro-forma invoice.

Ask us if you have any doubts about the documentation provided by your supplier.