VAT partial exemption on Xero

Here are some practical tips for accounting for VAT partial exemption on Xero.

What is partial exemption?

A basic principle of VAT is that you can only reclaim VAT that relates to “taxable supplies”. A “taxable supply” is a sale or other income line where you charge VAT. If you only sell products where you charge VAT, then you can reclaim all of your VAT as a business. However, if you have sources of income that do not attract VAT – for example residential rent or grants – then you cannot reclaim all of your VAT.

I am not going to go into further details of partial exemption methods or calculations – that’s for HMRC to explain in pages of copious guidance.

There are essentially three parts of the process. Firstly, recording the VAT correctly, secondly carrying out a partial exemption calculation and finally adjusting the VAT return. This process applies whichever system you use, however this post sets out how it applies to Xero.

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