The tax on value added tax (VAT) is one of the fundamental elements of business taxation. It is a consumption tax charged by the business to its customers on the goods and services they consume. It is the end consumer who pays the tax to the company, so we say that the company acts as a “collector” of VAT.

The company must therefore remit the VAT it has collected to the tax authorities. However, before proceeding with the payment of VAT, the business manager must make a VAT return. Definition, form, declaration deadlines, Legal start tells you everything about the VAT declaration

What is a VAT return?

The VAT return is a document that summarizes the amount of value added tax due by company’s subject to the tax administration. This is an administrative form that the manager must complete based on the accounts of his company. The VAT return includes in particular:

Gross VAT: this is all the VAT recovered by the company on the goods and services that it has invoiced to its customers. We also talk about the VAT collected.

Deductible VAT: the liable company can deduct the VAT it has paid for expenses incurred for the exercise of the activity (purchase of equipment, raw materials, etc.). Deductible VAT therefore corresponds to the amount of tax paid by the company to its various suppliers and service providers. Please note, in order to be able to deduct VAT, it is essential that all invoices justifying expenses are kept by the company. Do not hesitate to consult our sheet to learn more about the recovery of VAT on gasoline.

Net VAT: this is the amount that must be paid to the tax authorities. It is calculated by the difference between gross VAT and deductible VAT. If the balance is positive, the company must pay the corresponding amountant to the tax administration. Conversely, if the amount is negative, the company has a VAT credit that it is entitled to be reimbursed by the public treasury.

The VAT return therefore enables the company to methodically calculate the amount of VAT to be paid or the VAT credit from which it benefits.

How to make a VAT return?

The declaration methods vary depending on the company’s VAT regime. Also, there is no auto-entrepreneur VAT declaration since it depends on the regime applicable to the auto-entrepreneur. According to the VAT regime, the declaration must be made as follows:

The actual normal VAT regime: the company must make the VAT declaration online via its tax account or through a service provider.

The real simplified VAT regime: the company must file its VAT return using form 3517-S-CA 12 which it must imperatively send online.

Be careful, like all companies (take the example of VAT in SARL), if the company exceeds the thresholds conditioning access to the real simplified regime, it must, at the end of the month, file the CA3 VAT declaration. This declaration summarizes all the transactions carried out from the start of the financial year up to the month of overrun included.

The VAT exemption regime: the company is exempt from declaring and paying VAT on the services and sales it carries out. There is therefore no declaration to be made.

How to declare reverse charge on the VAT return?

Reverse charge is a VAT mechanism applicable in the building and public works (BTP) sector. It obliges the principal to pay the VAT due for construction work carried out by a subcontractor. So:

The subcontractor does not have to declare or pay the VAT due in respect of the subcontracting operations. On the other hand, in its VAT return, reverse charge must appear under the heading “other transactions not taxable”.

The principal must, for his part, enter the reverse charge in the “other taxable transactions” section of his VAT return.

When to send your VAT return?

The VAT declaration deadline also varies according to the applicable regime. So:

The actual normal regime: when the company is subject to the actual normal VAT regime, the declaration and payment of VAT should be carried out on a monthly basis. As an exception, if the amount of VAT paid annually by the company is less than € 4,000, it is possible to opt for a declaration and, a payment, quarterly.

The real simplified regime: the VAT declaration is made on an annual basis. It must take place no later than the 2nd working day following May 1st. However, if the company’s financial year does not coincide with the calendar year, the company must submit its declaration within 3 months of the end of its financial year.

Good to know: the corrective VAT declaration form allows the company to modify its declaration in the event of errors or omissions. It has the effect of canceling and replacing the previous declaration. On the other hand, the transmission of such a form does not cancel the payments already made.

Late VAT return: what are the consequences?

In the event of delay or failure in the VAT return, the company is exposed to the following sanctions and penalties:

Late payment interest of 0.4% per month of late payment applies when there is a delay in the VAT return, even if the company is acting in good faith;

A 40% increase applies in the event of forgetting, error or deliberate failure to provide information on the part of the company. In practice, the tax administration very often uses this qualification;

An increase of 80% in the event of omissions, errors or serious and repeated breaches on the part of the company. We then speak of fraudulent maneuvers.

Completing your VAT return can be tedious. This is why you can call on a chartered accountant or an online accounting management platform, to assist you in your procedures.

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