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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: business records checks: at the visit: VAT registered business: a VAT invoice

A VAT invoice is a term to describe an invoice which contains information required under VAT legislation.

A VAT invoice must contain the following information:

  • a sequential number, based on one or more series which uniquely identifies the document
  • the date on which the goods were delivered or the service was completed (time of supply)
  • invoice date
  • the name, address and VAT registration number of the business
  • the name and address of the customer
  • a description sufficient to identify the goods or services provided
  • for each description, the quantity of goods or the extent of the service
  • the net value of the supply, the VAT and the gross value of the supply.

A VAT invoice can be either in paper or electronic form.

A VAT registered business must issue a VAT invoice to its customers and keep a copy within the business records. The business must also keep copies of VAT invoices from its suppliers within the business records. Not only is the purchase or expense invoice a statutory record, it is essential that the invoice is kept to support any claim-back of the VAT paid (the input tax).