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VAT receipts for car fuel

In a recent article the following statement was made regarding fuel receipts used to reclaim VAT:

Fuel receipts have to include both the VAT number and the breakdown of the VAT amount and fuel should be purchased on the day of travel, or within a reasonable period before the day of travel.

Currently, we allow a time frame of 10 days on the receipt dates.  What approach do other people take?  Are we too generous with that time frame?

Our claimants submit their claims via a mileage claim form at an agreed rate per mile. 

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It Depends...

Hi

It depends on how much mileage your employees do in total - really you have to take a flexible attitude, some people may fill up 2 or 3 times per week, while others only once every fortnight.

If someone presents a fuel receipt more than a week old I would query it with them to confirm it is the most recent - and note this conversation on/with the receipt - this should cover you in the event of an HMRC enquiry.

 - If it is a common occurance then make it a general policy that anyone presenting a fuel receipt more than 1 week old (before the business travel occured) must sign and date the receipt to indicate that it is correctly filed with the Expense Claim - this doesn't really prove anything but is better than nothing - and I don't think HMRC have any specific guidance on what 'reasonable period' means - it would be very difficult for them to prove that a receipt did not relate to a specific mileage claim.

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MUCH longer!!

Being a home based person, the garage laugh at me when I take my car for it's MOT because of my low mileage.  It is not unusual for me to go two months without filling up.  With current prices, I see that as a bonus.  10 days?  Not possible!

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