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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

Introduction: Scope of this guidance

Our books of guidance are the main reference material for people in the department. All HM Revenue & Customs formal procedures and work systems are outlined in these books that give managers and staff the department’s rules and guidelines and general advice on interpreting them.

The guidance is aimed at HM Revenue & Customs staff and should not be relied upon by businesses in calculating their taxes and duties.

This guidance has been written primarily for compliance staff. It is the first of two parts and covers trader’s records - VATAC deals with officers’ powers.

It sets out the basic record keeping and accounting requirements that a trader is expected to comply with.

Although there are some paragraphs specifically relating to computer records, this guidance is written in the context of paper records. The principles should be applicable to any medium but if in doubt contact the VAT Registration, Accounting and Policy (VRAP) team in the VAT Process Owner Team (VPOT) Liverpool.

Extracts from the law and tribunal or court decisions have been included to help your understanding and support your decisions.

Related public notices: Notice 700/21: keeping VAT records, Notice 700/62: self billing and Notice 700/63: electronic invoicing.