Cash Accounting – payments that are received via an agent or factoring company.

Tax Question

My client does their bookkeeping on Xero, where invoices are raised and then sent to Hitachi Capital who administer all invoices. The VAT returns are filed on a Cash Basis.

However, it takes a significant amount of time for customers to pay Hitachi Capital for my clients invoices, and then Hitachi also hold on to these funds for a significant period before releasing the funds to my client. As such, my client often does not have the funds available to pay their VAT returns.

For the purposes of the Cash Basis VAT returns, when should the income be recognised? When the payment for the invoice is received by Hitachi Capital, or when the funds are released into my clients current account?

The former is how the sales have historically been treated, but I am now led to believe that the latter is the correct treatment and in which case an adjustment needs to be made in the next VAT return, and then VAT should be counted only on the fund transfers from Hitachi Capital to SB’s current account instead.

Tax Answer

For payments which are collected by an agent on your clients behalf, or payments which are collected under a factoring arrangement, VAT must be accounted for by your client in the VAT period in which the agent or factoring business received the payment from the customer irrespective of any subsequent delay in payment this to your clients bank account.

Neil Maddison – VAT Consultant

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