Christopher Andersen
Written By Chris Andersen
Director & Licensed Insolvency Practitioner
July 11th, 2023

Importantly, the deadlines for submitting your VAT return online and paying HMRC any VAT you owe are the same. If you’re not sure when your VAT return and payment deadline is, you can check that in your VAT online account.

This will tell you:

  • When your VAT return is due;
  • When the payment must arrive in HMRC’s account.

Monthly and Quarterly Returns

If you pay your VAT monthly or quarterly, the deadline for submitting your return and paying any VAT you owe is one calendar month and seven days after the end of the VAT period. For example, for the quarter ending 31 March 2017, your return must be submitted and payment cleared in HMRC’s account by 7 May 2017. Equally, if you’re submitting your bill for the month of December 2017, your VAT return must be submitted online and payment have cleared by 7 February.

Annual Returns

Some companies use the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme. If you do, your deadline will be different. The Annual Accounting Scheme is not suitable for businesses that regularly reclaim VAT because you only receive one repayment a year after you have submitted your annual VAT return.

If you use the Annual Accounting Scheme, you must:

  • Make advance VAT payments towards your bill based on your last return (or estimated return if you’re new to VAT);
  • Submit one VAT return a year.

Once you have submitted your VAT return, you have to either:

  • Make a final payment to settle any VAT you owe;
  • Apply for a refund if you have overpaid on your VAT bill.

VAT Payment Methods

It’s important to understand a little about the different ways to pay your VAT bill. The deadlines for VAT payments relate to funds that have arrived in HMRC’s account, and not all payment types take the same amount of time to clear. For that reason, you may have to pay a surcharge for a late VAT payment when you thought you had made the payment on time. You also need to take into account weekends and bank holidays when payments will not be processed.  

Same or next day payments can be made by:

  • Online or telephone banking (Faster Payments)

The following payment types take three days to clear:

  • Direct Debit
  • BACS
  • Standing order (only to be used by businesses using the Annual Accounting Scheme or making payments on account
  • Online by direct debit or credit card
  • At your bank or building society

You can also use the VAT payment deadline calculator to work out when your VAT payments need to be made.

Need Advice?

Have you made a late VAT payment and received a surcharge? Perhaps you’re unable to make a VAT payment and are not sure what to do? For confidential, no-obligation advice, please get in touch on 020 8444 3400 today.

Read more about problems with HMRC