Forward Analysis Bookkeeping Limited
Bookkeeping Services in Clacton, Colchester, Chelmsford, Ipswich and surrounding areas

VAT Returns

For all business over a certain turnover threshold, preparing and submitting your VAT return is mandatory. It can be a daunting and incredibly tedious task that you’d need to endure. Rather than feeling like the world is against you, why not let a specialist take the hassle out of the task and get it done for you?

What IS a VAT return?

If you are a VAT-registered business, you need to submit a VAT return to HMRC on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The calculation is, essentially:

VAT charged on sales - VAT reclaimable on business purchases/expenses = your VAT return

A completed VAT return will show whether or not you owe (or are due from) HMRC and how much is due. And remember, there are also some goods and services that are exempt from VAT, plus differing rates of VAT for different services purchased and/or supplied, just to add to the confusion…

Unless your business’s VAT returns are relatively simple, we recommend saving yourself the aggravation and outsourcing the work to Forward Analysis Bookkeeping.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

As a business owner, you’re probably dealing with lots of day to day issues and the last thing you want is to worry about incorrectly submitting your VAT return. If you DID make a mistake submitting your VAT return or if you miss the deadline, HMRC can penalise (or default) your company for the VAT liabilities and, while you’re still in this ‘default’ stage, HMRC can exact various surcharges or additional penalties:


You may be required to pay a surcharge if HMRC doesn't receive your VAT return by the deadline (normally, one calendar month and 7 days after the end of your VAT period – so, if the return is for a period ending June 30th, the VAT would be due by August 7th), or if full payment for the VAT hasn't reached their account by the deadline.


HMRC can also issue you with penalties for failing to submit your tax return by the deadline or by failing to disclose the required information. These can be:

  • 100% of any tax that is inaccurately recorded
  • 30% of an VAT return assessment sent to you by the HMRC if you fail to submit on time. Watch out for this one – if HMRC sends you a VAT return assessment that is too low and you don’t tell them within 30 days, they’ll slap you with another penalty
  • £400 for submitting a paper VAT Return - unless HMRC has told you that you’re exempt from submitting your return online, in which case that is allowable (but rare)

Not the best of situations in which to find yourself. There are many rules & regulations to be aware of regarding penalties and surcharges, but we can help.

Why choose Forward Analysis Bookkeeping?

Getting and keeping your business accounts in order is extremely important and it can be difficult to decide the right approach to take. To help decide, here’s why you should choose Forward Analysis Bookkeeping 

When you work with Forward Analysis Bookkeeping, all you have to do is send us your financial docs (either physically or electronically) – we take it from there. Your case will be dealt with by our professionally qualified team of bookkeepers who will be there to help you from the outset.

Outsourcing means that :

  • You save time by not having to go to unnecessary meetings
  • We are fast and efficient and are dedicated so we can provide a cheaper accounting service for you, our customer
  • We are already compliant with Making Tax Digital, so you don’t have to worry about your business being MTD-compliant

We provide the personal touch of a real-life bookkeeper at the end of a phone and the accuracy of a speedy and digitally-driven accounting system. Save yourself time, money and stress, contact us at Forward Analysis Bookkeeping to discuss how we can benefit your business.

How we take the stress away

Letting us deal with your VAT allows you to relax knowing the work is being done both quickly and correctly, leaving you more time to focus on your business.


  1. We carefully process your bookkeeping and check that everything is in order
  2. We ensure all the VAT your business has charged, and has been charged, is accurately claimed for
  3. We then send you the accurate figures which you can submit to HMRC OR, depending on the service, we can file with the HMRC on your behalf, leaving you stress-free (at least, as far as VAT is concerned)

We’ll also make sure that you’re fully aware of the deadlines so that you don’t miss them.

Got a question? Here are some FAQs which may help.

What if I get a VAT inspection?

Outsourcing to a dedicated professional team to take care of your VAT return means that you can be confident all the figures are correct.

What’s the deadline?

The deadline for submitting the return online and paying HMRC is usually the same – normally, one calendar month and 7 days after the end of your VAT period. (So, if the return is for a period ending June 30th, the VAT would be due by August 7th).

Are you interested?

We will handle everything for you - all you need to do is post your records, receipts and invoices (physically or electronically) and we will do what you need us to do.  We can also arrange for collection, if required.

Our aim is to reduce as much of the stress of dealing with your VAT returns as possible, so you can focus on what you’re really good at: running and growing your business. 

Contact Forward Analysis Bookkeeping and we’ll discuss with you the best service that is tailored to your business – because no business is the same as any other.

Practice No 22458