VAT Bad Debt Relief
It is quite possible within the VAT system for a business to be in the position of having to pay over VAT to HMRC while not having received payment from their customer.
Bad debt relief allows businesses that have made supplies on which they have accounted for and paid VAT but for which they have not received payment to claim a refund of the VAT by reference to the outstanding amount.
Conditions for relief
In order to make a claim a business must satisfy the following conditions:
- * goods and services have been supplied and the VAT in question has been accounted for and paid
- * six months has elapsed since the later of the date of supply and the due date for consideration, whichever is the later
- * all or part of the outstanding amount must have been written off in the accounting records as a bad debt (in the "refunds bad debts account").
Making the claim
A claim is made by entering the appropriate amount in Box 4 of the VAT return for the period in which entitlement to the claim arises (or any permissible later period).
Businesses making bad debt relief claims must keep records for four years from the date of the claim to show:
- * the time and nature of supply, purchaser and consideration - normally a VAT invoice will show this
- * the amount of VAT and the accounting period it was paid to HMRC
- * any payment received for the supply
- * details of entries in the "refunds bad debts account".
Repayment of Input Tax by Purchaser
Where a customer has not paid a supplier within six months of the date of the supply or, if later, the date payment is due, VAT previously claimed as input tax, must be repaid. This puts a burden on all VAT registered traders to monitor their transactions to anticipate whether they need to reverse any input tax recovered on goods received from suppliers.
How we can help
We would be pleased to help with further advice in this area.
For information of users: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.
Contributed by Winham Hughes