When trying to submit a VAT return, Box 3 and/or Box 5 is in error despite being calculated correctly in my spreadsheet. How do I fix this?

It is likely the problem you are facing is due to a rounding error. HMRC always round values down to the nearest penny while Excel will either round up or round down depending on the decimal value. For example:

If you have a value of 1234.567 in Excel and the cell is set to a Number and 2 decimal places, the value would be rounded up to 1234.57. Whereas, HMRC would expect the value to be rounded down to 1234.56.

To resolve this issue so you can submit your VAT return, perform one of the following actions:

  • Round down the box 3 and/or box 5 value in your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Tick the Calculate check box for box 3 and/or box 5 in the Easy MTD VAT Spreadsheet Settings window (version and below).*
  • Leave the box 3 and/or box 5 Sheet Name and Cell values blank in the Submit VAT Return window (version 3 and above).*

*NOTE: Performing either of these actions causes Easy MTD VAT to calculate the values in the way expected by HMRC.

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