Tax Category Tax: calculations, VAT, self-employment tips and more

How to fill in a VAT form

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a type of sales tax collected in Europe. If you are a VAT registered business, then you need to file a VAT return at the end of each VAT period (this is usually every quarter). Your VAT return informs Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) how much VAT you collected, how much VAT you have to pay to HMRC, plus information about your total sales and business purchases.

Subtract the value of any credit notes or debit notes from the total amount of VAT you collected from sales and enter the total in box one.

Write the amount of VAT due on goods you purchased from other EU countries in box two.

Add together the totals from box one and two and place that total in box three


Sum up how much VAT you have paid for business use purchases. Deduct any VAT from credit notes and supplier invoices over six months old that you have not yet paid and place that total in box four.

Take a look at the figures you calculated in step three and step four. Deduct the smaller amount from the larger amount and place the total in box five.

Enter your total sales for the VAT period into box six. Make sure to deduct the net amount of any credit notes or debit notes.

Write the total amount you paid for business purchases (excluding VAT) in box seven.

Enter the total value of goods you sold from other EU countries in box eight and the total value of goods purchased from other EU countries in box nine. You only need to fill these boxes in if you've done business with other EU countries.


Make sure that you fill in every box: you can't leave any box blank. If you are filling in an online return, negative amounts should have a negative sign placed before them and a zero item should be entered as "0.00," "none" or "not applicable." If you are filling out a paper return, enter negative figures in brackets ( ) and "none" or "not applicable" for zero amounts.

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.

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