VAT Global Accounting Scheme: Record-Keeping & Invoicing


If you have chosen to use the VAT Global Accounting Scheme then you need to make yourself aware of the VAT records and invoice requirements affecting you. 

In addition, you also need to keep records in accordance with the Standard VAT Scheme especially if you are intending to claim back VAT on your overheads – so make yourself familiar with these rules as well. 

Here I only consider the record keeping you need in relation to the Global Accounting Scheme.

What VAT Records Should You Keep

Unfortunately HMRC are a bit vague in their requirements but you need to have records which:

  • Are kept separately from your standard VAT records;
  • Shows how you reached the figures you have included in your VAT returns;
  • Demonstrate how you calculated your margin and tax due.

Don’t forget you need to keep all your VAT records for six years. So make sure you store everything away safely, in the cloud preferably.

What Needs to be Included on Purchase Invoices

Every time you buy goods which are eligible for the Global Accounting Scheme you must make sure you get the right paperwork to go with the purchase along with evidence that your goods are eligible).

The purchase invoice you keep on file must contain the following details:

  • your name and address;
  • your seller’s name and address;
  • an invoice number;
  • the date of the transaction;
  • a description of goods which must be sufficient to show that the goods are eligible for the Global Accounting Scheme, not just a generic description;
  • a total price – VAT must not be shown separately.

Who Should Provide You With a Purchase Invoice?

  • If you are buying for another business who also uses the Global Accounting Scheme, then they should provide you with a purchase invoice which includes all of the above information as well as a reference to the fact they are selling to you under the Global Accounting Scheme;
  • If you are buying from a private individual you may need to raise your own purchase invoice for your VAT records on your sellers behalf.  Again this should include all the above information.

What to Include on Your Sales Invoices

What you need to include depends on who you are selling to.

If you sell to other VAT Registered Dealers

You must always issue a sales invoice when you sell to another VAT registered dealers which shows the following details:

  • your name, address and VAT registration number
  • the buyer’s name and address
  • invoice number
  • date of sale
  • a description of goods which must be sufficient to show that the goods are eligible for the Global Accounting Scheme, not just a generic description;
  • total price including VAT (you must not show VAT separately);
  • the statement “Global Accounting Invoice”

Make sure you keep copies of all invoices you issue for your VAT records.

If you sell to the General Public

If you make sales for cash, for example using a cash register then you need to:

  • Make sure you have a system that clearly identifies sales to be included in the global scheme from any other sales you make;
  • Keep copies of takings summaries, till rolls etc to support your sales as part of your VAT records;
  • Have a clear audit trail from these sales to your VAT records

In both cases however you must make sure that your initial purchase also meets the criteria for the Global Accounting Scheme.

VAT Global Accounting Scheme: Calculating Your Margin

Updated 11 April 2019