Step 1.

Navigate to Reports > Popular reports > VAT return

VAT return

Step 2.

Under the New VAT return heading, search for invoices between two specified dates.  In this screen "invoices" refers both to sales and purchases and, if on Cash accounting, will relate to money received and paid.


From: This date will typically be the first day of your VAT period. You can, however, search for invoices prior to this date that may have been omitted from a prior VAT return.

Period end: This date is the end of your VAT period. For quarterly VAT returns, this is the date three months after your From date.

If the Include late invoices checkbox is ticked, the system will include all historic transactions (with a VAT rate), that were not locked to a previous return, in the current VAT return. Typically these will be invoices entered in a previous period after the submission of the VAT return.

Return name: This will default to "Quarter ending" and the last date, however, can be edited to refer to a different period length.

Clicking Search for invoices will create the return summary section and display a list of all relevant invoices in the selected date range.

Step 3.

Specific invoices can be excluded from the VAT return (this is not available for the Flat Rate Scheme). Tick the check-box beside the appropriate invoices.


Select the Create VAT return button to lock the invoices to this return. Once locked to this return these invoices will not be picked up in any future returns.

The return is now available to view at any time from the list of all your returns under the View VAT return heading.

Step 4.

To confirm the return, select the appropriate return from the drop-down list and click on Confirm this return tick icon. Confirming the return will create a bill for the VAT owed (or sales invoice if you are owed VAT).

Before confirming there is still the option to delete the return and start over by clicking on the Delete/redo this return icon.

Whilst the return will always be available to view from this screen you can also create a PDF with the Download PDF icon.


Step 5.

If you have appointed Clear Books as your agent, you can submit the return by selecting the Digitally submit to HMRC icon.

If your accountant or bookkeeper has chosen to enable their own agent registration within Clear Books, by selecting the Set accountant as agent toggle feature, then complete their HMRC ID and Password in the boxes provided and click on the Submit online button.

digital VAT

Please note: When a VAT return is confirmed but not submitted, you will be able to delete it by clicking on the link at the very bottom of the screen:

Contact our support team - - should you wish to delete a return electronically submitted via Clear Books.

Creating a VAT return on a Custom Tax scheme is not currently supported.