No option to add file to VAT return, and then submit


I’m currently trying to submit my first VAT return. I have made an adjustment to box 4 for pre-registration expenses. I am trying to attach the file to the return with the backing calculations but this isn’t an option unless I save the return, then when saved there is no option to submit, only to roll back.

I am registered for MTD and the account is connected properly. Does anyone have any advice on how I can add this file and still submit the return? TIA.

Save and submit are not separate steps in QuickFile.

If you are registered for MTD and the account is connected properly then the button on the return preparation screen would be to “submit” the return, not “save” it. If you were offered a “save” option then that means you have not set up QuickFile correctly for online submissions - either you haven’t connected the right account in the first place, or you connected the account but haven’t selected it in your QuickFile VAT settings to be used to submit MTD returns online.

Normally, if you had a properly connected and set up HMRC account, you would prepare the return and “submit” it, which saves the return in QuickFile, locks the relevant transactions, and does the MTD submission to HMRC. The “save” option does the first two parts of this (save in QuickFile and lock transactions) but does not submit anything to HMRC.

I suggest you first check your VAT obligations on the “reports → HMRC” page to be sure that you haven’t actually submitted anything. If this shows the period as still being “open” then you will need to

  • roll back the return that you “saved” previously
  • check your QuickFile VAT settings to ensure you have selected the right HMRC account in the drop down list
  • prepare a new return for the same period, make the adjustments to whatever boxes you need to, and “submit” the return to send it to HMRC
  • once the return is submitted, then you can attach the backing calculations file for your future reference.

The backing file is not (and should not be) routinely sent to HMRC. The MTD submission sends just the final (post-adjustment) values for the return boxes - if HMRC decide that they want to see the backing calculations they will ask you at a later date, and you will want to have them to hand in case you ever get a VAT inspection in future.

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