How to complete your VAT Return box by box

How to complete your VAT Return

Online returns

You must fill in every box on your return - don't leave any box blank - but you don't have to fill in box 3 or box 5 of the online return as these are completed automatically for you based on the information you put in boxes 1, 2 and 4. If you need to fill in negative amounts and 'not applicable' boxes when submitting your return online you need to:

  • put a minus sign before the figure for negative amounts
  • enter '0.00' for 'none' or 'not applicable'

How to submit your VAT Return online

Paper returns

For accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2012, you can only submit a paper return if you have been advised that you are exempt from online filing. If you're filling in a paper return you need to fill in every box and:

  • put the figure in brackets ( ) for negative amounts
  • write 'NONE' for 'none' or 'not applicable'

When filling in your return, you should read the notes on the return, and there's detailed guidance in VAT Notice 700/12 if you need more information.

Please send your completed return to:

HM Revenue & Customs
VAT Controller
VAT Central Unit

Find out about filling in your VAT Return in VAT Notice 700/12 on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website

Flat Rate Scheme

The way you fill out your VAT Return is different if you are on the Flat Rate Scheme.

Find out how to complete your VAT Return if you're on the Flat Rate Scheme in our guide on Flat Rate Scheme: how to complete your VAT Return box-by-box.

Subjects covered in this guide

Developed with:
HM Revenue & Customs


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