UK VAT Issue

There seems to be some problem with the summary page and VAT. The Tax payable amount seems to stay static at - £51.52 regardless of whether I buy something and pay or I receive money. This problem may have started around the beginning of December as this is when I noticed that the amount did not look right. I upgraded on the 4th December in time for a meeting with a new accountant. I suspect the updates on the 1st December may have caused the issue, but it could be an earlier issue.

When I do the VAT UK Return report, the amount that I need to pay is a completely different amount from the amount showing on the summary page! I am also worried that if the amount on the summary page is wrong then the amount in the VAT UK Return is also wrong.

Could you look into the issue as my VAT return period is October to December, so I will be needing to do a VAT return in January.

First of all, the amount on Summary page will almost never be the same as the amount on your VAT return report. This is because Summary page shows total balance of the account while VAT return report shows movement for the period of time.

As for why the figure on Summary screen isn’t affected by new transactions. Two possible reasons:

  1. Summary page is set to show figures until certain date and new transactions have been entered after this date.
  2. Summary page is shown to calculate figures on cash-basis, therefore unpaid invoices won’t be included

Yes I understand that the Summary Page shows the balance of the account. However if I have paid April to June and July to September then on the 1st October the balance will be zero again. I then start accumulating a balance from the 1st October. At least ways this is what seems to have happened for the last two quarters.

  1. I have checked and the summary page is set to show from 1st May to 23rd December so its not a set date issue.
  2. I understand that, but I have just about £2000 worth of cheques which I have deposited andd I have marked Manager as having received payment and the summary tax payable amount does not change at all. I even deleted a purchase invoice payment - the summary amount stays the same regardless!

Strange thing is that I have just exported the tax payable transactions and it equals the amount on the summary page. I am going to try and delete some money received and do another export and see if I get the same total.

You can keep experimenting or send me your accounting file to and let me know which specific transaction you believe is not included in Tax payable account balance.

I will send you the file in about 5-10 minutes. I have exported the business to my laptop so that I can delete money received on various invoices and the tax due is not changing not matter how many received moniesI delete. However, I want to run some further tests before I sent to you, because there is a slight difference between the version I have on my laptop as opposed to my computer, so something is changing. I am wondering if the summary page is showing accrual instead of cash - ie when I actually receive money. I will get back to you in 15 minutes. Thanks

The tax due amount changes when I delete the actual invoice! However I was always under the impression that the tax due amount is affected by when I actually receive the money, not when I invoice the client which is what you basically said - it should be cash basis

So you should just switch Summary screen to show figures on cash-basis. Is this issue resolved then?

That would appear to have fixed it. Yay! Now the question is - why did it suddenly change as I have never touched the summary screen accounting method. Has it always been accrual by default and I just happened to have all the invoices paid when I was looking at the figures. Now the amount on the summary screen matches what I am getting in the VAT return! Anyway its now working as should be!

Ability to set Summary screen on cash-basis was added only recently.

Disregard my last query. I clearly have had it on accrual all the time and I must have just not picked up on until now. I have reverted back to accrual as I think that the information on the accrual is more relevant in that I can see projected income and expenses rather than just what I have today as it were.

Thanks for clearing that up. I was getting worried about my VAT! But I now see what is going on.