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Create and submit a VAT return

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This guide explains how to create and submit a VAT return in Sage Accounting Start.


If you have a VAT registered business, you are now required to keep digital records and file your tax returns using compatible software.

HMRC will sign up all remaining businesses to Making Tax Digital for VAT automatically unless they are exempt or have applied for exemption.


Before starting

Before you get started ensure that you are set up for Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Create your VAT return

  1. From More, select VAT Returns.
  2. Select Create VAT Return.
    If you are connected to MTD, we automatically check for the next VAT period and set the dates on the return for you.
    If you are exempt from using MTD, set the from and to dates for the VAT return you want to create.
  3. Choose Calculate.
  4. A prompt may appear on-screen for transactions dated before the VAT period that weren’t included on a previous return. To check these transactions, select View Previous Transactions.
  5. Choose whether to include them on your VAT Return.
  6. Select Continue.

If you need to make any adjustments to the VAT Return figures, follow the steps here.

Submit your VAT return using MTD

Once you're ready to send your VAT Return to HMRC.

  1. Select Submit Online to HMRC.
  2. Choose Save.
  3. When prompted, choose Finalise, then Submit to complete the submission and send directly to HMRC.

If you are receiving errors when trying to submit, read our errors guide here >

Submit your VAT return when exempt from MTD

You can't submit your VAT return to HMRC through Sage, but you can still create the VAT return to generate the figures you need.

  1. Select Submit to HMRC by other means.
  2. Choose Save.
  3. Print the VAT Return and send the figures to HMRC by whatever method they have advised you to use. 

 CAUTION: If you submit a VAT Return in Sage Accounting Start without an MTD connection, the system does not send it to HMRC. You must manually send the figures to HMRC. 


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