I’m VAT registered, what records do I need to keep?

Sadly – quite a lot… and for quite a long time.

You must keep complete, up-to-date VAT records that enable you to work out the correct amount of VAT to include in your VAT returns, and you will need to keep your VAT records for at least six years, because you will need to show them to HM Revenue & Customs if or when asked.

You need records of sales and purchases (and any adjustments such as credit notes) including details of how much VAT your business charged or paid (know as output tax). Your VAT records also must show details of any supplies you have given away or taken for personal use.Your VAT records should include the VAT invoices you have been given for purchases – with details of the VAT you have paid (known as input tax)- and copies of your sales invoices. Your records will also need to include a VAT account, showing how total input tax and output tax has been worked out to include in your VAT returns – thankfully cloud accounting software does this bit for you.