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Reclaiming VAT on purchases prior to registration

Hello, I wondered if you wonderful people could help me.

I registered for VAT no long ago, and am looking into reclaiming the VAT for the stock I still have on hand, that I purchased before I registered. 

1st question, Does it have to be done on your first return? 

2nd question. Which I'm sure I'm probably over complicating, but I can't get my head around.

99% of my stock is imoprted from the USA, so I pay import VAT rather than regular added to your invoice VAT. While I know this doen't make a difference as it's all VAT. I wondering how I can work out the VAT paid on the stock I have. If it was UK stock I could just add up the stock value and work out the VAT paid. 

However, because it was imported the original invoices were paid in USD and exchange rates are forever changing. 

I should have, or be able to get, all my original invoices. But I don't have a database of all my stock items (over 3000) with the original USD price converted in to GBP at the exchange rate at the time (or any other time for that matter). I do have a list of all items with the retail price. Have I royally screwed myself and going to have to go through each item one by one and convert them or is there an easier way I can do this without taking up the next month of my life?

Also, if I have to do the above, what about items I have bought more than once, but at different exchange rates? how will I know which rate to use?

Please help out a very confused and stressed girl here! 


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10th Aug 2018 13:18

Thanks for the question munchkinz. My apologies, but as this is a forum for accountants to discuss issues from the profession, I'm not going to answer.

The sister site UK Business Forums has a specific accounts and finance section where your question is likely to find a more receptive audience.

Hope that's helpful.

Thanks again and best wishes,


Thanks (1)
to Accountant A
10th Aug 2018 13:43

Thank you AA, I appreciate your reply. I will post over there now.

Thanks (0)
10th Aug 2018 13:41

Pre-registration input tax should be claimed on the first VAT Return. The legislation provides for this.
In relation to the sterling value of the stock I think a reasonable estimation would be fine, but do retain how you did it.

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10th Aug 2018 15:31

De stress and do as the Les says my dear

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