Non-VAT company and recording VAT on purchases

I have read some similar posts about this but I’m afraid I haven’t been able to resolve my query.

I have a receipt for various items. Each item is listed without VAT. There is then a subtotal box, then a VAT box, then a grand total.

I am not VAT registered. In order to list items within a purchase, do I have to calculate the VAT myself for each individual item?!

Obviously not too difficult but outrageously time consuming! I’m sure I must be missing a trick here.

I hope I have explained my issue clearly enough, I’m pre start up, have never kept books or dealt with accounts online or otherwise, so forgive my inexperience.
Many thanks,

When you are entering purchases you should only enter the gross amount from the receipt, which should be the total amount you are going to pay or paid.

There’s no point recording VAT on purchases if you are not VAT registered, as this will accrue a balance under the Purchase VAT account.

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Thank you @Joe does that mean I can’t/shouldn’t break down to individual items? I’m sorry I’m still unsure.

For example, I’ve purchased about ten items, all within the same order. Should I list each item but within one description box? And put one overall cost?

My concern would be that the value of each item is then not listed.

Many thanks, LJ

That’s correct, unless you’re purchasing items with different categories (nominal codes) in which case you would enter the gross total for each category on a new line, as shown in the example below:

Thanks Joe. Unfortunately, my supplier has only provided a breakdown of the net cost of each item, and then shown a total VAT amount for the entire invoice.

If there is no way of me listing item values as they are on the receipt then I think that will be more work than it is worth for me and I might need to look for a different online bookkeeping service, which is such a shame as I think you have some wonderful facilities here.

Thanks once again for your time.


Just wondering why you’re listing all the items of the purchase in Quick File? You really only need to be entering a single line for most purchases. The only exception to this rule is if you’re listing items that fall under different categories, this not a common scenario.

Any system you use, you’ll run into the same problem, you can’t enter VAT without the system creating an inaccurate asset/liability on your balance sheet.

Thanks Glenn, I think I’d misunderstood things a bit. never done any of this stuff before…Now realising the actual receipts can/need to be provided alongside purchase records which seems to negate the issues I raised. All makes a bit more sense. Thanks very much for your advice.

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