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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

Particular invoices with special arrangements: Returnable containers: Containers for which a separate charge is made when they are sent out

When a supplier makes a separate charge for a container, or for the use of a container, when it is sent out, he must charge and account for VAT on the container even if the charge is refundable when the container is returned. If the separate charge is refunded when the container is returned, the VAT element in the original charge may also be refunded. Refunds must either be made:

  • separately by means of a proper VAT credit note; or
  • by making a specific adjustment in a VAT invoice covering a subsequent supply of containers and/or goods, and accounting only for the net amount of VAT.