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How to submit a VAT return if you've already closed your books in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 10 months ago

This article will show you how to submit a VAT return to HMRC after you've already closed your books in QuickBooks Online.

Closure of your books means that all the data from a certain period has been recorded and finalised, so if you try to submit after closing then you may receive an error message.

The good news is that there is an easy fix for this issue which we will show you in this article. We'll take you through the steps of reopening your books, making the VAT return submission, and then closing your books again.

Before you start, sign in to QuickBooks Online as a primary or company admin.

Step 1: Reopen your books

Let’s start with reopening your books. This allows you to add new information into QuickBooks. 

  1. Go to Settings and then select Accounts and settings
  2. Select the Advanced tab. 
  3. Select Edit ✎ in the Accounting section. 
  4. Turn off Close the books.
  5. Select Save and Done.

Step 2: Submit the VAT return

Go back to the VAT centre and submit your return. Make sure all the information is correct before submitting. HMRC can’t process your return if it’s incorrect, and you may get fined. 

  1. Go to Taxes, then select VAT
  2. Select the Returns tab.
  3. Next to the VAT return you need to submit, select Prepare return.
    You can choose Error check your return from the ▼dropdown menu to make sure all the information on your return is accurate.
  4. Select Submit to HMRC
  5. Once HMRC approves the submission, select Done.

Step 3: Close your books

Once you’ve successfully submitted your return, you can close your books again in QuickBooks Online so no further entries can be added until the next VAT period. 

  1. Go to Settings and then select Accounts and settings
  2. Select the Advanced tab. 
  3. Select Edit ✎ in the Accounting section. 
  4. Turn off the Close the books.
  5. Select Save and Done.

We're here to help
If you have questions about your VAT return, or need help fixing an error when submitting to HMRC, let us know. Sign in to QuickBooks and start a discussion with a qualified QuickBooks Online expert in our community.

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