VAT deadlines : All you need to know

If your business passes the VAT threshold of £85,000 then you will need to start using Making Tax Digital for VAT accounting software which is a new policy of the HMRC that allows business update VAT information to the HMRCregularly and often. Through this means, you are appropriately informed of your VAT payment schedule, that is, when it is due.

When Is The Deadline For Filing My Vat Returns?

VAT payments could be made monthly or quarterly. After submitting your VAT returns, the deadline for VAT payment is usually a month and 7 days after returns submission. This includes the time it would take the payment to be cleared in the HMRC’s account. For instance, if your VAT  returns were submitted on the 30th of June, then your payment must be settled by the 7th of August.

If your business however submits VAT returns on an annual basis, that is, you use the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme, then your VAT deadline would be different. Using the Annual Accounting Scheme, all VAT returns must be submitted once a year and an advance VAT payment must be made towards your bill based on your past returns. If you are newly VAT registered, then your advance payment would be made based on your estimates returns.

Once your VAT returns are then submitted, you can make a final payment to settle the excess you owe, or apply for a refund to recover the excess you paid.

Alternative Funding For Vat

If your tax deadline is approaching and you do not have enough funds to make this payment, then you can in the same way apply for short term business finance to help cover these costs and to prevent you from paying a surcharge.

You qualify for Business Cash Advance if your business has been in operation for 4 months and take about £2.5k or more in customer card payments monthly. Alternative funding would allow will allow you when your business has made more sales and can afford to make that repayment. The only difference is that a percentage would be taken off your customer card earnings.

How To Make Vat Payments

There are different ways to make your VAT payments, each payment deadline must reflect the time it takes to be cleared by the HMRCand some payments take even more time than others. As such, you might need to pay a surcharge for paying your VAT late  even if you had paid earlier. As such, you can choose between these two options:

  •        Same day payment which include online banking, telephone payments and CHAPS
  •        Others which take about 3 days to clear; direct debit, BACS, standing order or online using your debit or credit card.

All payments are to be made electronically using the digital VAT software for MDT for VAT compliant businesses. This is primarily done through a direct debit which could be carried out once you have registered to file your returns online, using your online account. This must be done in advance of your due date to ensure it is set up in time.

How To Check VAT Deadlines

The VAT owed to the HMRC is usually the difference between sales and invoice purchases. To confirm VAT deadlines, you need to log into your online account and accept to receive notifications for your VAT due date. This would not only notify you on when your VAT payment is due, but also on when it has been cleared by the HMRC.

It is necessary that as a VAT registered business you own and maintain a VAT account as this would be used in completing your VAT return and making your VAT payment.

What Happens If VAT Payment Is Late

If eventually you file your VAT late or make payment late, the HRMC records that you are in default. This would attract a surcharge that would be added to the VAT payable. The surcharge is dependent on the number of times you may have defaulted in your payment in the last annual period (1 year). However, there would be no surcharge on your first payment default, but after that, surcharges would be added to your payment.


These surcharges are a percentage of the unpaid VAT. It is also important to note that no surcharge would be added if the amount owed is below £400.

The surcharges are usually a percentage of the unpaid VAT. Also note that there’s no surcharge if the amount is less than four hundred pounds.

What To Do If I File A Wrong VAT  Return

If you file a wrong VAT return, then you must immediately disclose the error made. Failure to make this disclosure could result in a misdeclaration penalty which is 15% of the unpaid VAT. Errors made in  previous VAT returns could  be corrected on later VAT returns if they are about £10,000 or less.\


£10,000 to £50,000 but does not exceed 1% of your quarterly turnover.

Net error is the difference between total errors in output VAT and the total errors in input VAT

Hence, it is essential that the HRMC be informed of all errors made in VAT returns. A VAT 652 form is used to notify them. However, it is advisable to seek advice with an accountant for help on reporting incorrect VAT returns.

There’s no surcharge if you submit a late VAT return if you;

  • Pay your VAT in full on or before the due date
  • Have no VAT to pay, or
  • You are due for a VAT refund

There’s also no misdeclaration of penalty if you have voluntarily disclosed an error.

VAT refers to all taxes charged on the  goods and services. bought or consumed, for a business it means, all that consumed during business operations. It is essential that all VAT returns be submitted at the right time and also that all payments be made at the right time as missing a deadline might invite extra charges on the original cost. To ensure that all VAT payments are made on time the these VAT deadlines must be tracked