UK VAT invoice requirements

The UK VAT rules on the format and information to be provided on invoices broadly comply with the obligations of the EU VAT Directive and its VAT invoice requirements.


Date of issuance and storage of UK invoices

UK VAT invoices must be issued within 30 days of the taxable supply. If the transaction involves an intra-Community supply of goods, the invoice must be provided by the 15th day of the month following the taxable supply. In the case of an intra-Community supply of services, invoices should be supplied on the 15th day of the month following the end of the month during which the service was provided. For continuous services, a VAT invoice should be provided by the January following each year in which the services are provided.

Invoices must be stored for six years.  The UK, like all EU member states, now permits the use of electronic invoices under certain conditions.


UK invoice requirements

Invoices must contain at least the following information:

  • Date of issuance
  • A unique, sequential number
  • VAT number of the supplier
  • Full address of the supplier and customer
  • Full description of the goods or services provided
  • Details of quantities of goods, if applicable
  • A date of the supply (or tax point) if different from the invoice date
  • The net, taxable value of the supply (expressed in GBP)
  • Unit price of items supplied and details of any cash discounts excluding VAT
  • The VAT rate applied, and the amount of VAT
  • Details to support zero VAT – export, reverse charge or intra-community supply
  • Reference to “reverse charge” if applicable
  • Where supplies have been self-billed a reference to “self-billing”
  • If applicable, reference to any margin scheme that has been applied e.g. tour operator margin scheme, margin scheme for works of art
  • Details of mode of transport of goods
  • The total, gross value of the supply

Need help with your UK VAT compliance?



Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

Latest British news

UK Intrastat required after Brexit?

Nov 27, 2019

HMRC has been issuing conflicting guidance on the obligation for UK traders with the EU to continue submitting monthly goods movements reporting - Intrastat - after Brexit. It had been expected that

UK MTD 2020: 3 major changes for 1.3 million businesses

Nov 5, 2019  

On 1 April 2020, phase 2 of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT starts with the ending of the UK's HMRC's 'soft landing' first phase. It is this second phase that will cause most issues

UK HMRC confusion on post-Brexit Intrastat filings

Nov 2, 2019  

In the run-up to the latest missed Brexit date of 31 October, there has been conflicting messages from HMRC on whether Intrastat filings will still be required from thousands of UK businesses