Text file uploads are much simpler to understand and work with. Instead of uploading a spreadsheet, a specially laid out text file can be used.
A text file can be automatically generated by your accounting software and then be uploaded here. How your software does it is beyond the scope of this document.
Text files have several advantages over spreadsheet :
Don't use a word processor to generate a text file. Use a text editor such as (vi or emacs) notepad. Word processors do not create text files.
Text files consist of colon separated records, one record per line. They should have 9 lines in them, one line per box on the VAT100 form. Each line consists of a box identifier (e.g. box3 BOX3,totalVatDue) followed by a colon (:) and the amount for that box on the VAT100 form.
A sample text file is shown below :
BOX1:27740.98 BOX2:16409.17 BOX3:14270.20 BOX4:6974.80 BOX5:31292.10 BOX6:21162.99 BOX7:8682.32 BOX8:9110.29 BOX9:2511.47
The name fields (BOX1-BOX9 above) are not case sensitive so box1, bOx1, BoX1 are all the same. You can also use the names that HMRC use for the boxes on the return form :-
vatDueSales:5540.55 vatDueAcquisitions:0.00 totalVatDue:5540.55 vatReclaimedCurrPeriod:552.08 netVatDue:4988.47 totalValueSalesExVAT:9366.00 totalValuePurchasesExVAT:1039.93 totalValueGoodsSuppliedExVAT:0 totalAcquisitionsExVAT:0.00
The amount should be formatted to follow the VAT100 form specification so use whole pounds totalValueGoodsSuppliedExVAT (box 8) for example. Don't use commas or spaces to break the numbers up into thousands and do not use currency characters (e.g. £).
'£ 1234.56' is not valid, '1,234.56' is not valid and neither is '1 234.56'. A simple '1234.56' is all that is required.