Tax Tip 11 : How to reclaim VAT when you don't have an itemised VAT receipt

If you're VAT registered, you can normally only reclaim VAT on purchases made for your business when you have a valid VAT invoice for the purchase.

Many business owners regularly make business purchases from a supermarket that include VAT. Stationery, printer ink, USB sticks and cleaning materials are just a few of the things we bought last month. However, ask the checkout bod for an itemised VAT receipt and you are met with a blank look.

The good news is that you can reclaim VAT on such a purchase under £250 by calculating the VAT amount yourself. You must keep a till receipt which shows

  • The name of the retailer
  • The address of the retailer
  • The VAT registration number (often found on the back)
  • A description of the goods purchased
  • The date of sale (tax point)

Different supermarkets/retailers have different ways of noting which items are VATable. Tesco and Sainsbury put an asterix or ‘V” next to the item for example. You calculate the VAT by multiplying the purchase amount by 7/47.

i.e. you purchase a printer from Tesco for £79.99. The VAT you can reclaim is

£79.99 * 7/47 = £11.91.