The VAT return process starts the moment sales and expenses are posted, and the bank is reconciled. It is very important to use the right VAT rate when doing the bookkeeping, and not to miss claiming VAT back!
VAT rates vary depending on many factors, even between transactions that look similar at first sight. VAT returns will vary depending on whether the business trades locally, broadly or a combination of both, and again many factors need to be taken into account for this type of transactions.
A VAT return is processed according to the nature of the business, and also the VAT scheme chosen (e.g. VAT standard scheme, cash scheme, flat rate scheme…).
For businesses trading abroad, forms such as Intrastat declaration and EC sales lists need to be considered.