How far back can VAT be claimed.....

I have had an inactive VAT registration for approx 2 years now- nil returns submitted each time.

10 months ago i was made redundant and i inested a littkle in trying to get something of the ground...prob just broken even but i still submitted Nil returns....i guess i should have at least claimed back formation expenses , fuel, office hire, admin etc etc- Anyway, now 10 months later i wish to sort out properly all invoices etc for the past 10 months- can i include these all on the one return now??

How far back can VAT be claimed?

Hi Harold

The normal rule is 4 years, so you should be in time to make a claim. I assume that you'll be looking at no more than maybe £100 - £200, so you should be able to claim it on your current return.

If it's more than £10k, you might need to make a separate claim to HMRC if it relates to previous VAT return periods. Here's a link to the VAT Notice that explains about adjusting errors on previous VAT returns: in case you need further information about this.

One point is that if you submit a repayment return or claim and don't have any output tax (ie VAT on sales), HMRC might query the claim and want to come and inspect your records. Probably not if it's a small amount of money, but I have known them to inspect claims of around £100 in the past! Just make sure that you've got the relevant invoices etc to back up your claim.

13 January 2011