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HMRC internal manual

VAT Bad Debt Relief

HM Revenue & Customs
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Making a claim: Maintaining a records of claims

After making a claim all the records relating to the claim must be retained for 4 years from the date a claim is made. This requirement does not alter the standard requirement to retain records for six years. The records and/or documents to be retained for each claim are the following:

  • a “refund for bad debt account” as described in VBDR1500;
  • where the supplier was obliged to provide a VAT invoice: a copy of the invoice; or if the supplier was not required to issue a VAT invoice, then sufficient information to identify the time, nature, purchaser and value of the supply;
  • evidence of the prescribed accounting period in which it was accounted for and paid to us;
  • details of the amount claimed including payments received and the calculation of the outstanding amount;
  • evidence that the consideration, or unpaid part, has been written off as a bad debt;
  • for supplies made before 1 January 2003, a notification of claim.