Invoicing and Tax regulation in United Kingdom
Invoicing Regulation in the UK
In the United Kingdom, it's mandatory for businesses to issue invoices for goods or services sold to another business or individual. This legal requirement is stipulated in the VAT Act, 1994. An invoice must include certain details such as the invoice date, the supplier’s and customer’s details, description of goods or services, VAT amount if any, and the total amount due.
Real-time reporting / Fiscalization in the UK
In the UK, businesses are required to maintain accurate and timely financial records, including invoices. However, there's currently no statutory requirement for real-time reporting or fiscalization. Nevertheless, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) encourage businesses to maintain digital records and provide updates quarterly, which is part of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative.
E-invoicing in the UK
Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) is not mandatory in the UK, but it is strongly encouraged. The UK Government encourages businesses to use e-invoicing with a view to making it the predominant method of invoicing by 2020. E-Invoicing brings numerous benefits such as faster payments, reduced printing costs, and improved record-keeping.
VAT/GST/Tax Compliance in the UK
In the UK, VAT compliance is mandatory for businesses with a turnover exceeding the VAT threshold (currently £85,000). The standard VAT rate is 20%, but a reduced rate of 5% applies to certain goods and services, and there's a zero rate for certain goods and services like most food and children's clothes. Businesses must register for VAT, maintain accurate records, charge the correct VAT, and file VAT returns periodically. Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is mandatory for businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold.