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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

VAT invoice: issuing: Delay in issuing VAT invoices

If you receive a complaint that a registered trader has failed to issue VAT invoices within the 30 day time limit, and no valid extension exists under the provisions of VATREC6020, you should try to find out, tactfully, whether the complaint has any substance.

You should normally do this by:

  • telephoning an appropriate representative of the supplier concerned, explaining the nature of the complaint; and
  • making a note of the enquiry in the trader’s electronic folder.


  • a special visit to the supplier or to the customer will rarely be necessary; and
  • don’t divulge either the source of the complaint, or the details.

If the enquiry suggests that the allegation is, or may be, true, you should remind the supplier, in writing, of his legal obligations and warn him that continuing irregularities can cause difficulties for his customers and may result in a civil penalty being imposed.