How to Avoid Common VAT Mistakes

Value-added tax (VAT) is a tax that businesses must pay on the value of their goods or services. It is important for small business owners and entrepreneurs to understand how VAT works, so they can avoid making common mistakes when it comes to filing their taxes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes people make with VAT, and how you can avoid them.

Not Charging Enough VAT

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not charging enough VAT on their invoices. This can result in your business incurring additional expenses, as you may have to pay for any missed VAT out of your own pocket. To avoid this problem, it’s essential to be aware of all the different rates of VAT applicable to each product or service you offer. Additionally, it’s essential to check that your invoices include the correct rate when sending them out.

Failing to Register for VAT

Another mistake small business owners often make is failing to register for VAT if they are required to do so. If your sales exceed the threshold set by HMRC (currently £85,000), then you must register for VAT within 30 days or face potential fines and penalties. Therefore, it’s important that you keep track of your sales and ensure that you register for VAT when necessary.

Incorrectly Claiming Expenses and Input Tax Credits

It’s also important to keep track of your expenses when filing your taxes, as input tax credits can help offset some of the costs associated with running a business. However, if you claim too much or incorrectly claim expenses or input tax credits then HMRC may investigate further and potentially impose fines on your business. Therefore, it’s best practice to double-check all claims before submitting them in case there are any errors or discrepancies in the data provided.


In conclusion, understanding how Value-Added Tax works are essential if you want to ensure that all your taxes are paid correctly and on time. The most important things to remember are registering for Vat when necessary; being aware of applicable rates; double-checking claims; and avoiding undercharging on invoices where possible. By following these steps, small business owners should be able to reduce the chances of making costly mistakes with their Value-Added Tax payments going forward!

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