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Create and submit a VAT return

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How to run a VAT return and send it to HMRC in Sage Accounting.


If you’re registered for VAT, you must submit a VAT return to HMRC even if you have no VAT to pay or reclaim.

Use your online HMRC account to find out when your VAT returns are due. The submission frequency is either monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

 NOTE: Once you submit a VAT return, you cannot make any changes. If adjustments are necessary, you must include them in the next VAT return.


Before you start

If this is your first time submitting in Accounting, make sure you Set up VAT in Accounting and Connect Accounting to HMRC.

The following things can prevent you from creating a VAT return, make sure you:

Create your VAT return

  1. From Reporting, select VAT Returns.
  2. Select Create VAT Return.
    We automatically check for the next VAT period and set the dates on the return for you.
     TIP: If you can change the dates, this means you haven't connected Accounting to HMRC. You must do this before submitting your VAT return, unless you're exempt from Making Tax Digital (MTD).
  3. Select Calculate.

If a prompt shows transactions dated before the current VAT period that you haven't included in previous returns, select View Previous Transactions to review them.

Decide how to handle these transactions on your VAT return:

  • Now: Include them on this return
  • Later: Wait to decide, we'll prompt you again on your next return
  • Never: Exclude them from all future returns if you've already submitted them to HMRC through another system

If you're not yet ready to submit the VAT return, choose Save this return and submit it later. This saves the VAT return as a Draft and displays on the VAT Return List. We still flag all the transactions to show they're included on a VAT Return. This prevents you from editing or deleting them.

Otherwise, you can now print, submit or generate a detailed report for your return. 

Submit your VAT return

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

  1. Select Submit online to HMRC.
  2. Choose Save.
  3. When prompted, select Finalise, then Submit to complete the submission.

We send your VAT return directly to HMRC.

Unless you're exempt from MTD, do not Submit to HMRC by other means. If you've chosen this option, read our article: Resubmit a manual VAT return with MTD.

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