Unsure about claiming VAT


I have been claiming expenses from a contract I’m currently under taking. The client pays for my, travel, food and hotel expenses. When I fill in my weekly expenses form I remove the VAT from the food and hotel costs.

As I am VAT registered, I then add VAT in QF to the net amount and then invoice this final amount to my client. The VAT is now outgoing VAT and this will go to HMRC. Am I doing this correctly? Should I be claiming back VAT on the food and hotel.

The rules around what you can and cannot claim in relation to food/travel expenses can be tricky.

You may however find the following guide to be useful:


Hello Glenn thanks for the response. That guide helps, but I still need a bit of clarification. I have provided an example below to explain more. I pay for a hotel at my own expense. I then need to charge my client for this expense. As an example I have shown what I paid for the
hotel below with net amount and VAT included.

Hotel invoice

Net amount = 150.00

VAT = 30.00

Total invoice = 180

In QF I then raise an invoice for the client.

Client Invoice

Expense for hotel stay

Net amount = 150.

Vat = 30.

Gross Amount = 180.

The question I’m asking is am I doing this right. QF will now show £30 as outgoing VAT which
needs to be reimbursed to HMRC. So it looks like I’m paying £180 for the hotel from my own finances, but I only receive £150 back from client as £30 needs to go to HMRC.



How are you tagging the hotel payment? If you tag it as a business expense paid from the drawings account then you can claim the VAT back on the payment. If you are simply transferring the £180 to your personal account and tagging it as drawings then you will run into the problems you describe above.

Thanks Lurch

I wasnt tagging it as business expense paid from my drawings account. I will do that from now on. Just one more question. if I am invoicing the client to pay me back is it their expense, and not mine. Would that make a diffence to how I tag this in QF


I’m not sure TBH, this is where I would just leave it and let my accountant check it over before submitting the year end accounts! I haven’t done this yet since I started using Quickfile so I haven’t had to get involved in tagging it with anything in the past.


Just another question. The expenses invoice I sent to my client always included hotels, business mileage and the occasional parking expense, all on the one invoice. How do I tag these details on the payment received in QF?

Isn’t your client paying the gross amount on the invoice (£180)? If you’ve got a purchase invoice to the hotel for £150 + vat and a sales invoice to the client for £150 + vat then your VAT payable should be 0.

How is your client paying you? Are they paying the full balance of the invoice to your current account?

yes the full balance goes into the current account

Hello Lurch.

I’m just wondering if you have any more thoughts on this. Just to recap. I understand that my VAT payable should be 0. The issue is I charged VAT on the invoices I sent to my client. This is now showing as outgoing VAT to the HMRC in QF. I cannot change the invoices to 0% VAT as they have already been sent to the client. In QF how do I balance the VAT to be 0%?

The invoices I sent to my client include all the expenses, such as travel, hotel, etc. and they have all been tagged as payment to the current account. In the future I’ll do this differently but just need a solution to this issue.


Hi Ron,

If you invoice your client £150+vat, they pay you £180. So you have £180 in your bank account.
When you stayed in a hotel, they charged you £150+VAT, so you paid them £180, so your bank account went down by £180.
Providing you have recorded both transaction showing the VAT separately, in Quickfile and they both happened in the same VAT quarter, then QF will record the £30 on your sale as output VAT, and the £30 on the hotel expense as Input VAT, so if you were to run the VAT return with just those transactions you would see £30 in box 1, £30 in box 4 and £0 in box 5 on the VAT return.

Hope that helps!