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I am just started my build but know I am going to put a VAT claim in at the end.

Correct me if I am wrong but I can't claim back VAT on labour or equipment hire, and they need to be zero rated.

As for recording materials I am thinking a massive spreadsheet record and scanned receipts.

What have others done?

 

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I just kept all of the receipts and mailed them to HMRC, they then mailed them back to me. I started taking photos of each receipt, to keep on file, but gave up as it would have taken too long. Maybe if you do it as you go along it's not so bad.

 

Cannot claim VAT on labour or hire. Hire won't be zero rated, you just have to pay the VAT unfortunately 

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32 minutes ago, Moonshine said:

As for recording materials I am thinking a massive spreadsheet record and scanned receipts.

 

You need to supply original receipts, but do scan them and record them in a spreadsheet as you go. Not doing this means a massive job at the end. The spreadsheet doesn't need to be anything special - just include the same column headings as in the form and you can print it out and include it with the reclaim form. Add a sequentially numbered column to the left and pencil the number onto the corresponding receipt. The order isn't at all important.

 

10 minutes ago, Wagas said:

I started taking photos of each receipt, to keep on file, but gave up as it would have taken too long. Maybe if you do it as you go along it's not so bad.

 

Given how much could be at stake, I think scanning or photographing each receipt/invoice as it comes in is good practice. I wouldn't be surprised if we misplaced the odd one here and there along the 6 year journey from starting the build to making the claim. Also, in the unlikely event the parcel goes missing when you send it to HMRC, you at least have a record of what's been lost.

 

10 minutes ago, Wagas said:

Cannot claim VAT on labour or hire. Hire won't be zero rated, you just have to pay the VAT unfortunately 

 

Note that hire with an operator can be claimable. We missed a trick with this: we had a large telehandler with operator for a day to help install the windows. That should have been zero rated, but it was too late to correct it by the time we realised. Not claimable afterwards - if there's a labour component to the invoice, the whole thing must be zero rated at supply.

 

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Ignore @jack - use my method instead.

 

1) Get a big shoebox - I used one that my rigger boots came in.

2) Put everything that looks like a receipt, including delivery notes and the odd instruction booklet, in the shoebox.

3) Do not print out email invoices, just leave them on email.

4) Now and again plan to sort through the box. Do not sort through the box.

5) Keep the box in a safe place. Occasionally forget where the safe place is and have a massive panic attack. Find shoebox and consider step 4) above.

6) Finish your build, get BCO sign off and feel smug. Realise that you now have 3 months left to deal with the shoebox.

7) Open box, riffle thought it, close box.

8 Open box, and sort into invoices and non receipt chaff. Feel a bit queasy that the invoice pile is smaller than you imagined.

9) Realise that most of your receipts are on email and spend the next month tracking them down. Using a hypnotherapist to aid recall is not mandatory but will help.

10) Wake up at 4am remembering a purchase that you have not found - get up and search email for it before you forget. Go back to bed at 6am happy that you've found another £3.75

11) Find the BH VAT thread, download the forms and start to fill out the spreadsheet. Realise that the two months you have left will not be long enough.

12) Familiarise yourself with the scanner you last used eight months ago. Allow at least 1 day to find and update scanner s/w on your computer.

13) Start scanning, printing and typing. Repeat for an eternity.

14) Realise you don't have a hole punch, card sleeves or treasury ties - spend £15 acquiring and debate of you can claim the VAT for these.

15) With about a week to go, finish the whole lot and feel smug at the neat bundle of filed receipts. Last time you felt this good about paperwork was a school project on volcanoes in yr 6.

16) Discover the back up shoe box with more invoices. Panic.

17) Take your VAT reclaim baby to the post office. Hope that the claim amount is enough to cover the postage.

18) Wait.

19) Panic again.

20) Get confirmation of claim success and receive funds. Entertain momentary fantasy about what you could spend it on before reality bites.

 

Easy...

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I just love the above Bitpipe. Are you sure that you got them all. Did you check all pockets, of all clothing that you wore throughout the build ?

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27 minutes ago, Big Jimbo said:

I just love the above Bitpipe. Are you sure that you got them all. Did you check all pockets, of all clothing that you wore throughout the build ?

 

I left out the emailing supplier 2 years after buying something pleading for a VAT invoice (and getting it to my amazement).

 

I'm still sure there's something I missed.

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1 hour ago, Bitpipe said:

Ignore @jack - use my method instead.

...

Easy...

 

I should say that what I actually did was a lot closer to what you wrote than what I suggested!

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1 hour ago, jack said:

You need to supply original receipts, but do scan them and record them in a spreadsheet as you go....

 

Just checking : where a valid VAT invoice exists, no receipt is required to be presented as evidence is it?

VAT.JPG.77049c252e8b8c741f8a5d39e0dd2953.JPG

 

Tight sphincter  moment if I have this wrong......  

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Just now, ToughButterCup said:

 

Just checking : where a valid VAT invoice exists, no receipt is required to be presented as evidence is it?

VAT.JPG.77049c252e8b8c741f8a5d39e0dd2953.JPG

 

Tight sphincter  moment if I have this wrong......  

True, for VAT purposes the invoice is sufficient as its expected you will end up paying it

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We found the vat claim straight forward Copying the hundreds  of receipts was a task in itself 

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My suggestion is print out the VAT claim form NOW and as each invoice comes in, write it down (yes with a pen) on the claim form and file the invoice in a box file in the same order it goes on the form.

 

That would save the boring job at the end of going through the stack of invoices and filling in the form all on one go,.

 

I am not sure what purpose "scanning" the invoices has?  Other than a backup in case the claim gets lost in the post, as you are supposed to sent the original invoices.

 

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So @jack's post  ( and now @nod's )  above refers to purchases where a receipt is the only source of evidence.

 

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2 minutes ago, ProDave said:

My suggestion is print out the VAT claim form NOW and as each invoice comes in, write it down (yes with a pen) on the claim form and file the invoice in a box file in the same order it goes on the form.

That would save the boring job at the end of going through the stack of invoices and filling in the form all on one go,.

...

 

Yes, Dave, that's good, nay excellent advice.

The reality is that if I know that later I can access the evidence on a computer at some time when I am not completely Christmas  Crackered from selfbuilding, then thats what's going to happen.

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Posted (edited)

I am not the best at paperwork and wanted to focus on the build so engaged a VAT tax man that does this for a living, was well worth the couple of hundred quid as he contacted suppliers whose receipts were not right (that I had not noticed) recovered money paid to my builder in error. He got me more money back than he cost me. I can recommend him and others on this forum have used him.

Edited by joe90

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We've bought a lot of stuff online, and so far we only have the digital invoices. Is this what we need for the VAT reclaim or does it need to be a receipt with payment confirmation details?

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8 minutes ago, Conor said:

We've bought a lot of stuff online, and so far we only have the digital invoices. Is this what we need for the VAT reclaim or does it need to be a receipt with payment confirmation details?

 

Digital is fine, you just need to print them off for the submission.

 

We had about 50/50 digital vs printed invoices. 

 

Golden rule seems to be you need the VAT number of the supplier. You also need the VAT charged to be shown on the invoice / receipt OR need to calculate VAT charged (remember there are different section on the form for these two scenarios).

 

Depending on value, your name & deliver address need to be on the invoice.

 

A few of mine, online ones mainly, I had to write in the VAT number which I found elsewhere on their website.

 

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12 minutes ago, Conor said:

We've bought a lot of stuff online, and so far we only have the digital invoices. Is this what we need for the VAT reclaim or does it need to be a receipt with payment confirmation details?

I was told it just needs a sellers VAT number but my VAT specialist challenged several receipts of mine that had this and got the correct  ones sent. (I would not have known this).

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Conor said:

We've bought a lot of stuff online, and so far we only have the digital invoices. Is this what we need for the VAT reclaim or does it need to be a receipt with payment confirmation details?

 

10 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

...

We had about 50/50 digital vs printed invoices

...

Precisely my MMP ( MondayMorningPanic .... there's always one)  The confusion / panic / misunderstanding / question seems to center on the words receipt and invoice

 

My reading is as follows

  • Where there is a properly completed invoice

That invoice needs to be provided. No receipt is required.

  • Where a receipt is the only evidence of a purchase

That original receipt needs to be provided.

 

This is why I think that....

VATelipse.jpg.dd75d79942f7d2d14c617113df00906b.jpg

 

Here's the online form. 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/828048/VAT431C_form_and_notes__1_.pdf

 

Edited by ToughButterCup
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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

I am not sure what purpose "scanning" the invoices has?  Other than a backup in case the claim gets lost in the post, as you are supposed to sent the original invoices.

 

It's exactly that. I suspect the chance of the bundle being lost on the way to HMRC is low, but given the amount of money involved, the time spent scanning to make sure we had a clear record of what was sent seemed sensible.  

 

9 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

My reading is as follows

  • Where there is a properly completed invoice

That invoice needs to be provided. No receipt is required.

  • Where a receipt is the only evidence of a purchase

That original receipt needs to be provided.

 

1 hour ago, ToughButterCup said:

Just checking : where a valid VAT invoice exists, no receipt is required to be presented as evidence is it?

VAT.JPG.77049c252e8b8c741f8a5d39e0dd2953.JPG

 

Tight sphincter  moment if I have this wrong......  

 

No, a receipt is not required if you have an invoice. I imagine it's pretty rare for any business to issue both a (till) receipt and an invoice. I can't think of one instance of that in the 300+ invoices/receipts we processed.

 

We had all sorts of stuff allowed - pro-forma invoices, invoices showing part payment as a deposit, till receipts with no name, invoices in the name of our tiler (his trade discount saved us way more than the VAT refund would have been, so this wasn't much of a risk), one invoice in the name of some random company we had no idea about (we believe it was an over the counter purchase where we didn't have an account, and the invoice just showed the last customer). We made a brief note in the covering letter explaining every oddity, and all were allowed first time without so much as a follow-up question.

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Just now, jack said:

.....

I imagine it's pretty rare for any business to issue both a (till) receipt and an invoice

. ..

 

Vanishingly rare.

My panic was founded on the mis-reading of your earlier post

3 hours ago, jack said:

You need to supply original receipts, but do scan them and record them in a spreadsheet as you go.

 

I mis-read that as  ... in all cases you must provide a receipt.

To be absolutely clear;

  • Of those purchases which are based  on an invoice, the invoice must be supplied
  • Of those purchases where the only evidence is a till receipt, you need to provide the original till receipt. Further evidence may be required in the case of a till receipt - such as the supplier's VAT number

Jumpy? Me? Naaaah 

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1 minute ago, ToughButterCup said:

I mis-read that as  ... in all cases you must provide a receipt.

To be absolutely clear;

  • Of those purchases which are based  on an invoice, the invoice must be supplied
  • Of those purchases where the only evidence is a till receipt, you need to provide the original till receipt. Further evidence may be required in the case of a till receipt - such as the supplier's VAT number

Jumpy? Me? Naaaah 

 

Sorry, "receipt" there should have read "receipt/invoice". Nearly all till receipts include the supplier's VAT number. I cant recall any that didn't.

 

I think we had 4 out of well over 300 that didn't have the VAT separated out on the invoice/receipt. 

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Just to say from my own experience of recently completed the VAT reclaim. I had just the one rejection and now resubmitted this invoice and will obtain back every penny due.

 

The building merchant did not put sufficient information on a VAT invoice provided. This was for velux windows and was recorded as an individual line 'velux windows' on the invoice but the HMRC wanted to see the individual items listed for each velux window ordered on the invoice.

 

This was oversight by me as I should have gone back to them then, but it was the busy point of the build and I had loads of invoices. They were pretty quick at come back to me when I explained the problem and provided the revised invoice.

 

Just for reference here is what your invoices should show.

 

https://www.gov.uk/vat-record-keeping/vat-invoices

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Thanks for all the info, and i need to get my sh!t together as i don't want to get into a position that @Bitpipe got into (no offence)

 

Can i claim the VAT back on tools and other things (e.g. sheds) other than just materials for the build?

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6 minutes ago, Moonshine said:

Thanks for all the info, and i need to get my sh!t together as i don't want to get into a position that @Bitpipe got into (no offence)

 

Can i claim the VAT back on tools and other things (e.g. sheds) other than just materials for the build?

 

No. Read the guidance, very detailed.

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