Accountant Southend

VAT Returns

Quarterly VAT returns can be incredibly time consuming and stressful, and HMRC can be quick to notice if you’re not on top of it. ARB Accountants provides a VAT return service in Southend on Sea and throughout the whole of the UK, specialising in small and medium sized businesses. Our team can handle your VAT administration, quarterly returns, and communications from HMRC to let you focus on the day-to-day running of your business.

Contact us today for a VAT health check and see how we can help you with your VAT obligations.

Our VAT Return Service:

Our VAT Return service helps you to keep on top of your VAT administration and ensures that everything is compliant. Our services include:

VAT Advice

We’ll help you to understand the pros and cons of voluntary registration, and how it will affect your business.


Assistance with VAT registration and de-registration.

VAT Schemes

Consideration of special VAT schemes (Cash accounting, Flat-rate scheme, and Annual Accounting) and determining which scheme is best for your business.


VAT control account and reconciliation to ensure accuracy of accounts and payments made to and received from HMRC.

Imports & Exports

VAT on imports and exports. We can manage the complex accounting of VAT returns regarding imports and exports, ensuring accuracy.

Recovering Input Tax

We can handle the complex nature of Input Tax and Partial Exemptions.

VAT Health Check

We’ll perform a VAT health check to identify any opportunities that there may be to improve your VAT position with HMRC, and that the maximum input VAT recovery is being achieved. 

Advice & planning

Advice on VAT planning and administration.

Why Choose ARB Accountants?

At ARB Accountants, we understand that VAT isn’t simple. Complex regulations impose a tremendous administrative burden on businesses, and mistakes can be costly. Our team of VAT professionals are here to help you keep on top of your VAT affairs, ensuring that everything is in order and is filed on time. Let our expert team take over your VAT return administration and free up your time so that you can get back to running your business.

If you’re looking for an Accountant Essex based, get in touch today and you’ll have confidence knowing we’re dedicated to providing exceptional service that goes beyond mere number-crunching

We’re passionate about giving insightful guidance to help you make informed decisions that benefit you in the present and secure your future. If you’re in need of a trustworthy and experienced Accountant Southend way, our team is ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards achieving your financial goals.

Our clients love us…

Our dedicated service has earned us a 5-star rating on Google reviews from 30+ clients.

Saurabh has been looking after my company accounts for nearly 2 years. He is very reactive to any queries I have and both thorough and efficient in all the necessary company filings. Highly recommended!

Helena Walsh

I have been working with ARB for the last 3 years and they are the best accounting service I have ever had so far. They are looking after my company tax return, bookkeeping and payroll as well as my personal taxes.

Pauline de Jessey

This was my first time using ARB Accountants. I found them on Yell and reached out. Received the response immediately, had a free consultation and a reasonable quote.

Magdalena Carvall

I have been working with ARB Accountants for nearly 4 years. Saurabh and his team have always been extremely accommodating, helpful and responsive. I highly recommend ARB Accountants for all your accounting needs.

Daniel Hewitt

Frequently Asked Questions

Discover more about our VAT Returns in Southend.

Should I be registered for VAT?

You must register for VAT if your VAT taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 over the last 12 months. Your VAT taxable turnover is the total of everything you sold that is not VAT exempt. It is important to monitor your turnover because there may be penalties for late registration.

Can I register for VAT if my taxable turnover does not exceed the threshold?

You can voluntarily register for VAT provided you have a bona fide business.

How often do I have to complete a VAT return?

VAT returns are normally submitted every quarter, but you can opt for annual accounting which lets you submit one VAT return per year. In this case you would have to make advance VAT payments.

What is included in VAT Return services?

ARB Accountants offers a variety of VAT Return services that can be tailored to suit your business. These services include:

  • The pros and cons of voluntary registration
  • Assistance with registration and de-registration 
  • Consideration of special VAT schemes (Cash accounting, Flat-rate scheme and Annual Accounting)
  • VAT on imports and exports 
  • Partial Exemption 
  • VAT health check 
  • Advice on VAT planning and administration 
  • VAT control and reconciliation

Can I submit a VAT Return myself?

You don’t need to use an accountant to submit your VAT Return, however using a qualified accountant will give you the peace of mind that your return is accurate and compliant. To submit your VAT Return yourself, head over to the GOV.UK website where you will find all of the information you need.

How do I prepare a VAT Return?

We recommend using a qualified accountant to help ensure accuracy and compliance when preparing your VAT Return, however should you decide to go alone, the below steps will help you to understand what is required:

  1. Establish your current VAT position – keep control of your cash flow and identify any transactions that have been incorrectly posted. We recommend doing this regularly throughout the VAT period.
  2. Reconcile the VAT Return – Before producing your final VAT Return, we recommend checking the transactions on the return vs your purchase ledgers.
  3. Produce the final VAT Return – This is the final submission for the VAT period and can only be done once. Print and send your VAT Return to HMRC or complete your VAT Return online.

What is Making Tax Digital for VAT returns?

The new regime for many VAT-registered businesses started on 1 April 2019.

Businesses that exceed the VAT-registration threshold (£85,000 in 2020/21) are now required to keep digital records and file their VAT returns using HMRC-approved software, which means filing using API technology.

What are the dos and don’ts of VAT returns?

To help make VAT and Vat returns more simple, we’ve compiled a handy list of dos and don’ts:

Businesses that exceed the VAT-registration threshold (£85,000 in 2020/21) are now required to keep digital records and file their VAT returns using HMRC-approved software, which means filing using API technology.


  • DO account for VAT so you can submit your VAT returns digitally
  • DO keep a monthly record of your turnover – late registration can result in severe penalties and you will be required to pay the VAT whether you have charged it or not
  • DO notify HMRC when major changes in your business take place – changes must be notified within thirty days
  • DO retain records for the last six years – these could be demanded by law
  • DO obtain and keep VAT invoices – these are your authority to claim back VAT on supplies made to you
  • DO charge VAT on supplies to your staff
  • DO charge VAT on any equipment or vehicles (except motor cars) that you sell or part-exchange
  • DO account for VAT on fuel used for private motoring using the appropriate scale charge


  • DON’T claim the VAT paid on the purchase of a car – it is not recoverable except in certain cases
  • DON’T claim the VAT paid on goods or services used for private purposes. Where there is an element of private use (e.g. telephone) an appropriate percentage should be claimed. Special arrangements apply to private use of petrol (see above)
  • DON’T claim the VAT paid on business entertaining
  • DON’T forget to account for VAT on inter-company charges, unless both companies are part of a VAT group registration
  • DON’T be late with filing or paying your VAT returns or filing your EC sales list declaration. If you are late, penalties may ensue
  • DON’T charge VAT on the transfer of a business as a going concern (make sure contracts incorporate appropriate VAT provisions

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