Can I reclaim VAT on my business car and fuel?
Certain criteria need to be met, but you may be able to reclaim VAT on your company vehicle.
Generally, if you have a car provided by your company, you can claim back mileage for your business travel. Although, this will be done differently depending on whether the company pays for your fuel, or you do.
We’ve come up with a complete guide on claiming mileage on a company car, so check it out!
Can I reclaim VAT on purchases made before my business became VAT registered?
In a word – yes! You can reclaim VAT on goods and services that were purchased before your registered your business for VAT. As a rule, you can reclaim the VAT on goods you bought up to 4 years before registration and services up to six months before registration.
These goods must be:
- bought by you as the entity that is registered for VAT
- bought for your VAT taxable purpose
- still held by you
There are a few exemptions to this rule. You won’t be able to claim back the VAT on the following purchases:
- Goods which you used up before you registered for VAT (such as petrol or electricity)
- Goods that you have already sold before VAT registered
- Goods that are related to the supplies you make that are exempt from VAT.
You’ll be able to reclaim the VAT on services you bought 6 months before you registered if the following is met:
- The services were bought by you as the entity
- The services are for your VAT taxable business purposes
However, you can’t reclaim on:
- Services that relate to goods you disposed of before you were VAT registered
- Services that relate to goods or services you supplied that are exempt from VAT
- What exactly should a valid VAT invoice include?
How can I spot a VAT invoice?
It can be confusing to know what a valid VAT invoice looks like, and you don’t want to file your VAT return only to discover it’s missing some vital information! Here a few things to look out for when it comes to spotting a VAT invoice:
- The supplier’s name, address and VAT registration number
- The supplier’s invoice number
- The name and address of the person to whom the goods are supplied (your business)
- Date of issue and time of supply of the goods or services (this may be the same as the date of issue).
- A description of the goods or services supplied
- The total amount payable for the whole invoice excluding VAT
You should note that retailers can issue less detailed invoices for purchases of up to £250. The invoice must still show key details such as the name, address and vat number of the supplier, nature of the goods and the rate of VAT applicable.
VAT invoices must be issued within 30 days of the date of supply or the date of payment.
What doesn’t count as a valid VAT invoice?
Invoices have the potential to be rejected if they’re not valid, so it’s important that you know when a VAT invoice isn’t actually a VAT invoice!
These are all examples of documents which would count as an ‘invalid’ invoice:
- Supplier statement
- Delivery note
- Request for payment
- Pro-forma invoice
How is my VAT refund repaid?
To keep things simple (in the eyes of HMRC, anyway), you’ll submit your VAT return online. First, you need to log in to your HMRC online account to submit your VAT figures. From here, you can then claim the figure owed to you by submitting your VAT return. Then, you need to give your account details to HMRC. Finally, you’ll receive your refund within approximately 10 days of HMRC receiving your return.