How Much Do Accountants Charge For VAT Returns In UK?

Home icon-arrow Blog icon-arrow VAT Return Costs: Accountant Charges in the UK

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a fundamental component of the UK tax system, affecting businesses of all sizes across various industries. For businesses operating within the VAT threshold, compliance with VAT regulations is mandatory, requiring accurate record-keeping, timely filing of VAT returns, and payment of VAT liabilities to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Given the complexities of VAT, many businesses opt to enlist the expertise of professional accountants to manage their VAT returns. In this extensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of VAT return accounting fees in the UK, exploring the factors influencing pricing, considerations for businesses, and the significance of VAT compliance in today's economic landscape.

The Importance of VAT Compliance

VAT is a consumption tax imposed on the value added to goods and services at each stage of production or distribution. VAT-registered businesses are required to account for VAT on their taxable supplies and purchases, as well as submit VAT returns to HMRC. Failure to comply with VAT regulations can result in penalties, fines, and reputational damage for businesses.

Understanding VAT Return Accounting Fees

The cost of VAT return accounting services in the UK can vary significantly based on several factors, including the size and complexity of the business, geographic location, and the level of service provided by the accountant. Let's explore these factors in more detail:

a. Business Size and Turnover:

  1. Average Cost Range:
    • VAT return accounting fees typically range from £100 to £500 per return, depending on the specific requirements of the business.

    • While some accountants may offer fixed fees for VAT return services, others may charge hourly rates or variable fees based on transaction volume.
  2. Factors Influencing Pricing: a. Business Size and Turnover:
    • Larger businesses with higher turnovers and transaction volumes may incur higher VAT return accounting fees due to the increased complexity and workload.
    • Smaller businesses, on the other hand, may benefit from lower fees, but this can vary depending on the accountant's pricing structure.

b. Transaction Complexity:

  • Businesses engaged in complex transactions, such as international trade, VAT-exempt sales, or partial exemption, may face higher accounting fees due to the additional time and expertise required to manage such transactions.

c. Geographic Location:

  • Accountants' fees may vary based on their location, with firms in metropolitan areas often charging higher rates compared to those in rural areas.
  • However, advancements in technology have enabled businesses to access accounting services remotely, mitigating the impact of geographic location on fees.

d. Level of Service:

  • The extent of services provided by the accountant, such as basic VAT return preparation, VAT planning and advisory, compliance reviews, and HMRC audit support, can significantly influence pricing.
  • Businesses should consider their specific needs and budget constraints when selecting an accountant, opting for value-added services that align with their goals and objectives.

Considerations for Businesses:

  1. Qualifications and Expertise:
    • Businesses should prioritize hiring qualified and experienced accountants, such as chartered accountants or those accredited by professional bodies like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
    • Chartered accountants possess in-depth knowledge of VAT regulations and can provide valuable insights and guidance to ensure compliance and optimize tax efficiency.
  2. Service Requirements:
    • Before engaging an accountant, businesses should assess their VAT compliance needs, including transaction volume, industry-specific regulations, and potential VAT risks.
    • Clear communication of requirements and expectations helps accountants tailor their services to meet the business's needs, fostering a collaborative and productive working relationship.
  3. Transparent Pricing and Fee Structure:
    • Businesses should seek transparent pricing and a clear fee structure from prospective accountants, including details of hourly rates, fixed fees, and any additional charges for value-added services.
    • Comparing quotes from multiple accountants allows businesses to evaluate costs, services, and expertise, ensuring they receive value for money and avoid unexpected expenses.
  4. Value-added Services:
    • Beyond basic VAT return preparation, businesses may benefit from additional services such as VAT planning, compliance reviews, VAT health checks, and assistance with VAT investigations or disputes.
    • Accountants offering value-added services contribute to proactive VAT management, risk mitigation, and strategic tax planning, ultimately supporting business growth and sustainability.

VAT return accounting fees in the UK are influenced by various factors, including business size, transaction complexity, geographic location, and the level of service provided by the accountant. Businesses must carefully evaluate their VAT compliance needs, select qualified and experienced accountants, and consider value-added services to ensure effective VAT management and mitigate compliance risks. By investing in professional accounting services and maintaining VAT compliance, businesses can safeguard their financial interests, enhance operational efficiency, and capitalize on growth opportunities in today's competitive marketplace.


Q. What is the purpose of filing VAT returns?

VAT returns are filed to report the amount of VAT charged on sales and paid on purchases by VAT-registered businesses. They help ensure compliance with tax regulations and accurate reporting of VAT liabilities to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Q. How much do accountants charge for VAT return services?

The cost of VAT return services varies depending on factors like business size, complexity, and geographic location. On average, fees range from £100 to £500 per return.

Q. What do VAT return accounting fees typically cover?

VAT return accounting fees usually cover services such as VAT return preparation, compliance reviews, VAT planning, and HMRC audit support.

Q. How can businesses save money on VAT return accounting fees?

Businesses can save money on VAT return accounting fees by outsourcing to qualified accountants offering transparent pricing, optimizing VAT processes, and seeking proactive VAT planning advice to minimize tax liabilities.

Q. Why is filing VAT returns important for businesses?

Filing VAT returns is essential for VAT-registered businesses to fulfill their legal obligations, maintain accurate financial records, and avoid penalties or fines for non-compliance with tax laws.


Skype Call

Lets Connect

contact us form