Up until 31 March 2009 you could not correct errors in VAT accounting periods that end more than three years ago. The limit was increased to four years from 1 April 2009. There are two methods available for amending a VAT return if you discover an error.
If the net errors total less than £10,000, or up to £50,000, provided the error does not exceed 1 percent of the net sales on the VAT return containing the error, then you can incorporate the adjustment into the next return.
The other way to disclose the errors is to contact your local VAT Business Advice Centre by completing VAT form 652 . If you use this method, you must not make adjustment for the same errors on a later VAT return.
Be aware that HM Revenue & Customs may also charge interest on any under declarations you disclose in this way by issuing a Notice of Assessment (VAT 655) if they find you have underdeclared VAT.
By Jo Nockels
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