What is the VAT Return report?

The VAT Return Report (for United Kingdom businesses only) is a report that allows you to export CSV files in order for you to submit your VAT returns to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as part of Making Tax Digital (MTD).

MTD is an initiative designed to make sure the UK tax system is effective, efficient and simpler for taxpayers. All VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 are required to keep digital financial records and send returns using MTD-compatible software as of April 1, 2019.

The VAT Return report is available to businesses that have selected United Kingdom in their Basic Information settings.
The sales tax must be named as VAT for the VAT Return report to correctly detect your VAT totals.

You can run the VAT Return report by doing the following:
  1. Select the Reports section
  2. Then select VAT Return under Accounting Reports.
To adjust your view of the VAT report, select Filters under Settings. From there, you can change: 
Filters for VAT Report.
  • Reset all - Select this link to restore the filters back to the default settings
  • Date Range - Choose from This Month, This Year, Last Year, This Quarter, Last Quarter, or Custom to enter a specific date range (or if you’ve changed your fiscal year end date, choose from the extra options)
  • Accrual or Cash-Based - Choose between Accrual which will pull data from the date of issue on your invoices, or Cash-Based which will pull data from when payment was received on your invoices

Expenses categorized as any of the below are excluded from the VAT Return report automatically (review section 3.8 for details):
  • Bank Fees
  • Business Insurance
  • Commissions
  • Contractors
  • Depreciation
  • Employee Benefits
  • Interest Expense - Mortgage
  • Interest - Other
  • Personal
  • Office Space
  • Sales Taxes Paid
  • Taxes and Licenses
  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Wages
Once your settings are filtered, you can either:
  • Select the blue Download VAT Report for (Date) link and a CSV file will download
  • Select the More Actions button, then select Export for Excel to download the CSV file
  • Or select Go to MTD Portal button to submit your return to the HMRC (you'll need to have your VAT Return report ready to submit to the HMRC as well)
For more information on how to access your MTD Portal to submit your VAT Returns and more, review What is Making Tax Digital?.