Thank you, thank you…thank you for your applause…oh no (blushes modestly) really, it was nothing….yes I know it was my third attempt but, as you say, third time lucky eh!
It’s so embarrassing. I’m supposed to be a financial expert and the last TWO (count ’em, TWO) times I attempted to submit my VAT online I got it wrong. Both times I submitted a ‘£0.00’ VAT liability while actually paying some actual money into the account. As far as the VAT office was concerned for a few months I had an impressive credit to my name.
I used to be fine with the paper system (oh dear, I’m embarrassing myself again – I run a website and I can’t do the online filing!). I just filled in the relevant boxes and sent it off. I used to pay by cheque but then moved to paying by BACS. I’m absolutely fine with the payment bit, it’s the submitting element I’ve had a problem with. The boxes aren’t the same. Helpfully, they calculate the figure for you in a couple of places. I didn’t see this (twice!) so put the wrong figures in and came up with a big fat zero.
This time, I decided to get help. Rang the nice people at the VAT office (really, they are very helpful and, importantly, FREE, so it’s always a good idea to use them when possible) and they talked me through it. Good thing too! I nearly did it wrong again.
The key thing is to watch out for the boxes where they do the calculation for you. This time, I waited for it to calculate and then put the figures in the other boxes.
It’s much simpler than the old system, of course, but takes people like me quite a while to get used to it.
Now I just have to make sure I’m up-to-date with my Gateway password. I’ve been through three so far.