UK VAT invoice requirements

With the UK now out of the EU VAT regime - what do you need to do keep your goods flowing, customers happy and import taxes minimised? Read Avalara’s free 2021 Brexit Survival guide for details on Brexit VAT and customs issues.

The UK VAT rules on the format and information to be provided on invoices are based on the UK VAT Act.

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 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.