You may be required to sign up for MTD for VAT. Please check with HMRC to find out if you are required to do so and follow our MTD VAT onboarding options.
To submit a legacy VAT return as a business via Clear Books, you must first register with HMRC services, enrol for online VAT services and then finally appoint Clear Books as an Agent in the HMRC Tax Services system.
In total, the online steps take about 20 minutes, however, in some cases, an activation code might need to be sent to you by post, which can take a few days.
Once you have completed this process, the guide will then show you how to submit the return within Clear Books.
Registering with the HMRC Services
If you don't already have an account you will need to sign up to get one. This will allow you to access various government services, including the range of HMRC online services such as online VAT returns.
- Navigate to https://www.gov.uk/log-in-register-hmrc-online-services/register - register using the link that is most appropriate to you:
Enrolling for the VAT Returns Service
You will need your VAT Registration Certificate, and your most recent VAT return to complete this step.
Login to the HMRC services account. You will now be asked a series of questions as per below
- Select Yes to the 'Have you already used a business tax account to manage your taxes, duties or schemes online?' question and continue.
- Next select the 'VAT and VAT services, for example EC Sales List' option.
- Then select 'VAT' from the list.
It will ask you to fill out your VAT number, the postcode where your VAT returns are sent (or the one listed on your VAT Registration Certificate), the Effective Date (as shown on your VAT registration certificate), the month of your last VAT return, and the last net VAT due on that return.
The service may be activated straight away, or it may require you to enter an activation code that will be sent out by post.
Appointing Clear Books as your VAT Agent
Please note that some references below may change as HMRC develop their systems
Clear Books is a registered VAT Agent, which allows us to submit returns on behalf of other companies. In order to give us permission to submit returns for you, you need to appoint us as an agent. This can be done online via the Government Gateway.
- Login to your HMRC Services account.
- Click on the Manage Account link at the top.
- Click on the Accountants link.
- Click Add Agent.
- Enter our Agent ID: clearbooks-MKSMH2GFG21S
- You must then agree to some terms and conditions, and re-enter your login details to complete the process.
Set up a Direct Debit and E-mail Notifications with HMRC for VAT submissions.
If you file your VAT returns online, the easiest way to pay is by direct debit. This way you won't need to put a cheque in the post, or do a manual bank transfer. You can do this on HMRC's website.
You can also set up e-mail notifications so that you get sent reminders when your VAT return is due.
Submitting a VAT Return in Clear Books
Navigate to the Settings > Configure system > Toggle Features > VAT & Bank import tool menu
Enable the Online VAT filling option by using the radio button.
Navigate to the Tax > VAT > VAT return menu.
Click on the return name from within the Existing VAT returns list.
Finally, click on the Submit to HMRC button.