On 29 July 2015, HMRC confirmed in a letter to all NHS Trusts that the normal ‘tax point’ rules should be applied from 1 April 2016 at the latest. This extension was provided to recognise the challenges Trusts may face in changing accounting systems and processes where previously VAT accounting was based on payment dates. Normally, the tax point of a supply is the invoice date.
HMRC recently published guidance on COS and included clarification on when VAT can be recovered. This confirmed that VAT should be recovered within the financial year in which it became chargeable (subject to a three month adjustment period). VAT is incurred when it became chargeable, or where you do not have a VAT invoice, the date you receive a VAT invoice.