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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

The obligation to keep records: The trader’s business and accounting records

A trader’s records will generally reflect the size and complexity of the business and may range from the simplest of manual records to the most sophisticated computerised system. The trader does not have to keep the records in any set format, but they should be up to date and kept in sufficient detail to:

  • allow the trader to calculate the amount of VAT to be paid or reclaimed correctly
  • enable us to check the figures on the VAT return easily.

Commercial and accounting practices that are common to certain trade sectors, such as self-billing (see Notice 700/62) and authenticated receipts (see Notice 708) in the construction industry, will also impact on a trader’s record keeping.

You can find examples of the most common types of business and accounting records in Notice 700