Claiming VAT on expenses is essential for most businesses but it is important to know when you can claim and when not to. 
Details that should be on a VAT invoice 
You be able to see the following details on any VAT invoices before you reclaim the VAT: 
• a sequential number based on one or more series which uniquely identifies the document 
• the time of the supply 
• the date of issue of the document (where different to the time of supply) 
• the name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier 
• the name and address of the person/company to whom the goods or services are supplied. This is the only person/company who can reclaim. 
• a description sufficient to identify the goods or services supplied 
• for each description, the quantity of the goods or the extent of the services, and the rate of VAT and the amount payable, excluding VAT, expressed in any currency 
• the gross total amount payable, excluding VAT, expressed in any currency 
• the rate of any cash discount offered 
• the total amount of VAT chargeable, expressed in sterling 
• the unit price 
• the reason for any zero rate or exemption 
Special rules apply to invoices issued under a margin scheme or subject to a reverse charge. You need to follow the rules for such supplies. 
Most countries have a sales tax in some form but it is only possible to reclaim VAT issued by a UK supplier with a UK VAT number. So, if your goods came from, for example the US, then the sales tax charged will have to be treated as part of the cost. 
There is a simplified option where the supply including VAT is £250 or less. 
If the charge for the individual supply is: 
• £250 or less (including VAT), then you can use an invoice showing the suppliers name, address and VAT registration number, the time of supply (tax point), a description which identifies the goods or services supplied, and for each VAT rate applicable, the total amount payable, including VAT shown in sterling and the VAT rate charged - exempt supplies must not be included in this type of VAT invoice 
• more than £250 you must ask for a VAT invoice, then you will be issued either a full VAT invoice or modified VAT invoice, showing VAT inclusive rather than VAT exclusive values. 
An example of these would be restaurant bills. 
When in doubt ask for a VAT invoice and make sure it is issued in the name of your company as that is the entity that will be reclaiming it. 
Tagged as: VAT Invoices
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