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Adjust your VAT Return

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This guide explains how to make adjustments to your VAT return in Sage 50 Accounts.


When you calculate your VAT Return, if required, you can make adjustments to your final VAT Return figures before you reconcile your VAT Return. For example, to correct a past error that meets HMRC VAT adjustment criteria. Let's take a look at how to do this.


You can use the Adjustments option to make these amendments. There's just a couple of things to check first.

Before you make adjustments

Check the Manual Adjustment control account

  1. On the menu bar click Settings then click Control Accounts.
  2. For Manual Adjustments enter the nominal code you want to use, by default this is 2204.
  3. Click OK.

Calculate your VAT Return

You must first calculate and check your VAT figures for the period.

Make a VAT Return adjustment

 TIP: VAT Adjustments are automatically posted using the program date. To post an adjustment with a different date, you must first change the software date within Settings, then click Change Program Date.

  1. Whilst in your live VAT return for the period, in the Reconcile VAT Return window, click Make adjustments.
  2. Identify which box of the VAT Return you need to adjust, then in the Adjustment column click the pencil Image.
  3. In the Reason column enter the reason for the adjustment, you must enter a reason for all adjustments made.
  4. Use the Tab key on your keyboard to move across to the Adjustment column and enter the value you want to adjust the box by, then click Save.

    TIP: To reduce the box value, prefix the figure with the minus sign '-'.

  5. If further boxes require adjustment, please repeat steps 2 - 4.
  6. If you have Sage 50cloud Accounts v25.1 or above, we recommend you use the Add attachments option to attach any supporting documentation to explain your adjustments.

The adjustments are applied when you reconcile the VAT Return. If you close VAT Return without reconciling, the adjustments don't save and must be posted again when the VAT Return is reconciled.

NOTE: When using adjustments, we recommend you use the VAT Transfer Wizard to transfer the VAT from the Sales and Purchase Tax Control Account nominal codes to the VAT Liability nominal code. If you need to post these manually, you must use the calculated figures and NOT the figures after the adjustments are posted. This is because the adjustment journal has already been posted to VAT Liability.

The effects of an adjustment

VAT Adjustments don't affect the Sales or Purchase Tax control accounts. If your adjustment changes the value in box 5, a journal is posted between the VAT liability nominal code 2202 and the Manual Adjustments nominal code 2204.

If required, after reconciling your VAT return you can journal any associated balance on 2204 to an appropriate nominal code. If you're unsure about which code to use, please refer to your accountant.

If the adjustment increases box 5

The following journal posts:

Program Date2202Manual Adjustment to VAT Return: Rtn No. (number)T90.00Amount of increase
Program Date2204Manual Adjustment to VAT Return: Rtn No. (number)T9Amount of increase0.00

If the adjustment decreases box 5

The following journal posts:

Program Date2202Manual Adjustment to VAT Return: Rtn No. (number)T9Amount of decrease0.00
Program Date2204Manual Adjustment to VAT Return: Rtn No. (number)T90.00Amount of decrease

Print your adjustment reports

  1. On the navigation bar click VAT, then click the required archived return.
  2. Click VAT Return then click Print.
  3. To print a report that only shows adjustments, clear the VAT return check box and select the Adjustments check box.
  4. Click the required output type, then click Run.


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