VAT in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied by the HMRC on the goods or services provided by registered businesses. If your business has a turnover of more than £85,000 it is mandatory for you to register for VAT.

Note: This section is applicable only for the customers in the UK Edition of Zoho Books.

VAT Settings

Configure VAT in Zoho Books

If your business is registered for VAT, you will be able to enter all your details and set up VAT in Zoho Books. You can find all your details in the VAT Registration Certificate you’ve received from HMRC.

To configure VAT in Zoho Books:

Accrual Basis VAT is calculated based on the Date of the Invoice.
Cash Basis VAT is calculated based on the date your customers have made payments to you.

Set up Flat Rate Scheme

Some eligible businesses, whose VAT taxable turnover is £150,000 or less (excluding VAT) can choose to join the VAT Flat Rate Scheme. Business owners registered for the this scheme pay only a fixed rate of VAT.

If your business is registered under the VAT Flat Rate Scheme:

Here is an example of how VAT is calculated normally vs the flat rate scheme:

Let’s say there are three items sold at £100 each. All three items carry a 20% VAT on them. Which makes the total sale value including taxes to £360. So the VAT paid will be:

Scheme Calculation
Normal VAT 3 items of £100 each sold at 20% VAT

Total sale value inclusive of VAT: £360
VAT: 20 + 20 + 20 = £60
Flat Rate VAT 3 items of £100 each sold at 20% VAT

Total sale value inclusive of VAT: £360
Flat Rate = 14%
VAT = 14% of 360 = £50.40

Note: VAT cannot be reclaimed if you have enabled the flat rate scheme.

VAT Return Settings

From April 2019, it is mandatory for all businesses in the United Kingdom to keep digital records of accounting and tax information for the entire financial year. You can choose to file your VAT returns directly from Zoho Books or if you are exempt from filing taxes digitally, you can do it offline.

You can file your VAT return using software only after you’ve signed up for MTD with the HMRC. If you haven’t signed up for MTD yet, sign up now.

To file your returns online

If you are opting to file your VAT returns directly from Zoho Books, you can do it yourself or have an Agent to file VAT returns on behalf of your organisation.

To get started:


Authorise Zoho Books at HMRC

To start filing your VAT returns through Zoho Books, the first task is to authorise Zoho Books at HMRC as an admin of the organisation in Zoho Books, or as the agent who is working on behalf of the organisation.

To authorise Zoho Books at HMRC:


You will be re-directed to the HMRC website to complete your authorisation.


Note: Once you have granted authority in the HMRC website, the authorisation process between Zoho Books and the HMRC is complete.

Next, you will be re-directed to Zoho Books where you can:

VAT Deregistration

Deregistration is the process of cancelling your VAT registration if your organisation’s turnover is below £83,000 or if the organisation is no longer eligible for VAT according to the criteria set by HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

You can deregister VAT in Zoho Books once you’ve completed the cancellation process in the HMRC Portal, which might take up to 3 weeks to process. Meanwhile, you can deregister VAT in your Zoho Books organisation. Here’s how:

vat-deregistration deregister

Your organisation will no longer be considered as a VAT-registered business after VAT has been deregistered.

Note: Once you create transactions after deregistering, you’ll not be able to undo the deregistration. You will have to delete those transactions to undo deregistration.

To undo deregistration:


Now, your previous VAT registration will be reinstated in Zoho Books.

Request Permission (For Agents Only)

Agents must get the approval from the admin in Zoho Books to start filing the VAT returns on behalf of the organisation.

Insight: If you have already got permission offline, you can override this option by clicking Skip this Step.


Pro Tip: Click ‘Copy Request to Clipboard’ to send the link of the request to the admin manually.


Once the agent has sent the request to the admin, the admin can grant authority to the agent at HMRC.

Troubleshoot Filing Requests

Zoho Books will display the status of the filing request so the agents can act based on the status.

Filing Request Status What to Do
Pending Fetch the status of the filing request, first. If it’s still pending, copy the request link to the clipboard and send it to the admin through a medium of your choice.
Expired Send a new filing request again.
Rejected Request again.
Accepted Start filing VAT returns on behalf of the organisation in Zoho Books.

Revert Filing Settings

If you no longer wish to want to file your VAT returns through Zoho Books, you can revert the filing settings.

Warning: Once you revert settings, all your existing VAT filing settings will be obsolete.


To file your returns offline

VAT Rates

This section lets you view and manage all the VAT Rates you’ll be using in your organisation. Apart from the default rates, you will be able to add new rates, edit existing ones and delete them based on your requirements.

Add New VAT Rate

To create or add a new VAT rate:

Edit VAT Rate

To edit an existing VAT rate, follow the steps below:

Update Tax Rate

Delete VAT Rate

To delete an existing VAT rate:

Delete tax

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