Opening balance for VAT

I started using QF at the beginning of my tax year (01 May). At that time I owed the VAT for the quarter just ended. For arguments sake let’s say I owed £1000. Where should I have entered that I owed money as an ‘opening balance’?

Later that £1000 left my account and that is recorded by QF and I tagged it as ‘VAT Liability (2202)’. Should I have entered the £1000 as the opening balance so the account would balance out when paid?


EDIT: I’m cash accounting for VAT if it matters.

Hi @glasgow

That sounds like the correct way to do it, as the opening balance would be treated as you owing the VAT.

What did you use prior to QuickFile?

Yes, I thought so but I don’t think I did it! My question is where should I have entered the opening balance!

Was using FreeAgent.


When you came from FreeAgent, did you import a trial balance for your other opening balances?

The opening balance would be set as part of an journal. These can be created by going to Account Settings >> All Settings >> Setup your opening balances. But as it’s a journal, it would require a balancing entry. This data would likely be in FreeAgent, but if you imported a trial balance, I would expect this to have been part of it.

No, I didn’t import, I just did the bank accounts manually. I don’t think my books are too complex!

What’s my best option. I could import a trail balance or just add some journal entries. For the latter, where/how should I enter the VAT I owed at 01-05-20?

The only other stuff I’d be worried about is capital equipment but I don’t think QF does depreciation calculations as automatically as FreeAgent. But that’s another question for another day!

Hi @glasgow

If you import a trial balance now, it may throw your other figures out because you would suddenly end up with opening balances for various nominals.

We actually have a guide on entering VAT opening balances which may help.

Thanks for the link. I don’t think that works for me. Before starting with QF I had already submitted my VAT Return. So I had a ‘clean sheet’, I was starting a new year and a new VAT quarter. But I did owe the VAT £1000 and that was paid and is recorded by QF. So I think I should have a journal entry on 01-05-20 (my QF start and new year day) for £1000 in ‘(2202) VAT Liability’. But I’m not sure exactly how to enter this, if its a credit or debit or both.

As I understand it, I will be saying I owe HMRC £1000. Then when I paid it, it balances out. So somewhere in my accounts I should see how much I ‘owe’ for VAT today, but if I don’t enter that opening balance that figure will be out (by £1000)?


The opening balance vat journal needs a balancing entry. So you would need to include the total of the sales tax less purcahae tax which gives you the vat balance.

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