How to customise VAT rates for Europe?

As a UK business, we trade globally in digital software. I need to invoice a company in Switzerland for some work and currently their VAT rate is 7.7%. I have to choose from preset options in Quickfile for VAT rates - how can I change this so I can tailor my invoices for each country?

There is an option somewhere in your account settings to add additional VAT rates to the drop down list, but I’m not sure what happens if you raise an invoice with a non-UK vat rate. You may have to mark it out of scope to stop it getting picked up by your UK vat return (and then journal things yourself when you do your Swiss or OSS return).

The problem is that I still have to collect VAT from these customers at special rates to pay to their countries - regardless of where it gets accounted for. Does this mean I’ll need a separate invoicing system to allow me to do that?

I’m finding QuickFile very limited when it comes to working internationally and I’m struggling to make this work.

Emma Eynon

You can create invoices at non-UK VAT rates - go to your VAT settings page and add the extra rates to the “additional sales VAT rates” box (and the purchase one, if applicable).

My comment was just that that’s as far as it goes - QuickFile doesn’t have any support for generating and submitting VAT returns for any jurisdiction apart from the UK, so you’d have to mark the invoices as out of scope for UK VAT (to stop the UK VAT return picking them up). You’d then need to calculate the numbers for your foreign VAT return(s) some other way and manually create the equivalent of the journal that QuickFile does when you submit a UK VAT return, to move the VAT from the “sales tax control account” to the “VAT liability” nominal, and you’d have to net off the liability when you pay the VAT over to the foreign authorities.

Remember that all the nominal accounts in QuickFile are denominated in GBP, so if you raise an invoice in CHF with Swiss VAT applied the amount that goes onto the sales tax control account for that sale will be the GBP equivalent of the CHF VAT total converted at the rate in force on the date of the invoice. Therefore you can’t simply take the total VAT liability in CHF from your Swiss VAT return calculations and convert that to GBP at the return date for the VAT journal, you in fact need to add up the individual GBP converted amounts for each sale to avoid errors from the difference in exchange rates.

There is probably a market for someone to build a third-party app that can handle these calculations more smoothly.

Thanks Ian, I work in different currencies and we use international bank accounts for that reason. I would issue invoices in those currencies although all of our book keeping translates it back to GBP as you say. We used to use Octobat with Stripe which was excellent for this stuff but then they shut down. Quickfile can’t even integrate with our USD stripe account - only our GBP stripe account so I have to do lots of things with manual file exports. It is painful trying to work in the UK. I’ll try to find that setting for VAT rates - I thought I’d checked everywhere and all the knowledge base.

Aha I found the setting - in All settings> Company settings and I found an obscure grey button for “more VAT settings” - thanks Ian!

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