VAT-registered businesses must:
keep records (external link) of sales and purchases
keep a separate summary of VAT called a VAT account (external link)
issue correct VAT invoices (external link)
Most VAT registered businesses who earn over £85,000 must follow the rules for ‘Making Tax Digital for VAT’ (external link).
If you have signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT, the records you need to keep (external link) are the same as any VAT-registered business but you will need to keep some of them digitally.
How to Keep VAT Records
You must keep VAT records for at least six years (or ten years if you use the VAT MOSS service (external link)).
You can keep VAT records on paper, electronically or as part of a software program (such as book-keeping software). Records must be accurate, complete and readable.
If you have lost a VAT invoice or it is damaged and no longer readable, ask the supplier for a duplicate (marked ‘duplicate’).
HMRC can visit your business to inspect your record keeping and charge a penalty if your records are not in order.
You can hire a professional (external link) (such as an accountant) if you need help with your VAT.