Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ | FAQ Re Enrolment | Making payments |


Q Is it compulsory to submit my returns online?
ANo, currently the option to submit returns online for Isle of Man traders is voluntary.
Q Will I still receive paper returns once I have enrolled?
AOnce you enrol to use the online service you will no longer receive paper VAT returns. Similarly, if you are required to complete European Community Sales Lists (ECSLs), paper versions of these will no longer be issued. An email reminder will be sent to you when a new return is available for completion, however, you have the facility in the Administrator tools to change this option.
Q The amounts I have declared on previous returns are incorrect. What should I do?
A If any of your previous returns declared too much or too little VAT that has not been accounted for, you can correct the position using boxes 1 and 4 for nett amounts of £10,000 or less. If the nett amount is over £10,000 you must notify Douglas VAT office immediately. In this case, do NOT include these amounts on this return
Q I want to send in my latest return but it does not appear in the list of returns available to render online?
A All VAT returns cover a specific period with a stated start and end date. Normally traders are given 30 days after the end date to complete the return; this is the due date. Returns are made available to be completed approximately 6 weeks prior to this due date.
Q How do I get to the VAT Return Screen to complete my VAT return? I have enrolled to My VAT Return service and can see columns headed; Periods, Due Date, Status, Box 5 figure and Date Submitted.
AThe Periods are hyperlinked to the VAT return for that period. So double click on the period for the VAT return to appear.
Q I am enrolled as an Agent to My Client’s VAT Return service and can see my client list but what do the details in the columns “Returns available for completion” and “overdue returns” mean?
AThe column “Returns available for completion” shows the number of returns that are awaiting submission for that client. i.e. “0” indicates there are no returns to submit. “1” indicates one return to submit; “2” indicates two returns to submit etc. The column “overdue returns” shows the number of returns that are awaiting submission which have exceeded their due date. For example an October VAT return dated 01.08.2007 – 31.10.2007 will have a due date of 30.11.2007. So if the date is after 30.11.2007 it will appear as overdue in this “overdue returns” column.
Q I will be away when my VAT return is due, can I leave it till I come back?
A No, you must arrange for someone else to complete your VAT returns and make payments for you. Failure to render on time may leave you liable to penalties.
Q What do I do if I can’t make an accurate return by the due date?
A Contact Douglas VAT Office on 648160 or e-mail, who may allow you to use an estimated figure.
Q Do I have to send in my return if it is nil?
A Yes, if you have
  • Not traded in the period; and
  • No VAT on sales or acquisitions (outputs) to declare

you must complete and send the return showing 0.00 in all the boxes

Q After I have submitted my VAT return online, do I also need to submit the paper VAT return?
A No, for each period, you submit the return online.
Q How do I record negative values?
A Enter a minus sign before the value.
Q If I partially complete my return and save the details, how long are they stored for and do Customs and Excise review these figures?
AIf you partially complete a return, save the details and do not submit the return to Customs and Excise, then we are not interested in these details. Normally we do not view or review them. These details are stored for approximately 6 months before being deleted, this is primarily for storage space reasons. Customs and Excise are only interested in values you declare on the return that you submit to us.
Q If I partially complete a return, why is the value in Box 5 not visible in the Select VAT Return overview screen?
AThe Box 5 figures displayed in the Select VAT Return overview screen are populated from the submitted VAT returns; so this is a true reflection of what has been submitted on your VAT return to Customs and Excise. The partially completed return which has been saved, can be altered at any time as it has not been submitted to Customs and Excise at this point, so is not reflected on this screen.
Q Can I print or save the VAT return?
AThe system is designed so you can view, print or e-mail historic VAT return data at any time. You can do this by going into the VAT return details page and using your browser tools on the tool bar.
Q Why do I need to enter EC trade on my return when I know the Isle of Man is not in the EC?
A The EC recognises the Customs and Excise Agreement the Island has with the UK and allows the free movement of people and goods under that Agreement to extend to all of the Community. Businesses thus benefit from being treated as part of the EC Single Market - with free movement of, and trade in, goods with all the Member States. For customs and VAT purposes the Isle of Man is therefore treated as if it were part of the EC.

EC trade details are collected on the VAT return because it is a requirement for inclusion in the Single Market, and are also used in compiling the trade statistics that in turn affect the national balance of payments calculations.

Q Who are the Member States of the EC?
AAustria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain , Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Q Can I change my address online?
AYes, you can change your own postal address after you have enrolled to "My VAT Return" service. Select the menu option "Business Details".
Q Can I change my address online when I am enrolled as an Agent?
ANo, there is no facility to change your address or the address of any of your clients online.
Q I am an Agent responsible for submitting numerous clients’ VAT returns, however I am transferring some clients to another CSP, what must I do?
AYour client must notify us that they wish to change Agents, providing a new AG2 MAN form nominating their new Agent; or otherwise providing their alternative contact details, including address.

FAQ Re Enrolment

Q I have registered to use the Government e-services, why do I now need to enrol to use the VAT services?
A There are 2 parts to using electronic services with us, Registration and Enrolment. In registering you have provided some very basic information and entered a user name and password that will make it easier for you to login to the system on future visits. However for your own security of information, we need to ensure that only people with the correct credentials can access their information and render details to Government. Every electronic service provider on this site will have provided you with some unique information by way of an activation code for that service that only you know. In normal circumstances you will only have to enrol to a particular service once. Having enrolled to a particular service using this information, then we will be sure that you are eligible to use the system securely. When you revisit this site then all you need to enter is the user name and password you decided upon at the time of registration. This will then allow you to access all the services you have enrolled to.
Q How do I get my activation code when I have recently become VAT registered?
A When you register for VAT you are sent a confirmation letter in the post and a VAT 4 form which shows details of your registration. The activation code will be sent to you under separate cover to the address registered with us for VAT. It cannot be supplied to any other address or over the phone or in person.
Q How do I get an activation code when I have been VAT registered for some time?
AActivation codes were issued to all active VAT registrations when the online system was introduced in September 2007. However, these were issued with expiry dates, so now many may have expired. To request a new activation code, please contact us via the details given under "Contact Us" on Customs and Excise home page.
Q I have my activation code, what else will I need to enrol for VAT services on-line?
A As well as the activation code, you will be asked for your VAT registration number and your Effective Date of Registration (EDR). These two pieces of information can be found on the VAT 4 form sent to you when you registered for VAT.
Q I was registered for VAT many years ago and I cannot find my VAT 4. How do I find the other 2 pieces of information that I need to enrol?
A If you contact Customs and Excise on 648120 or e-mail We will send out a new VAT 4 to you at the address they have on file.
Q I have lost my activation code for VAT. What do I do?
A Contact Customs and Excise on 648100 or e-mail We will look to see if the activation code for your VAT registration has been used. If it hasn’t then another will be issued in the post.
Q Why can’t I be told my activation code in person or on the phone?
A As a security measure the activation code is sent in the post to the address registered with Customs and Excise for VAT purposes.
Q I see there is an option for Agents? What are Agents?
A An Agent is somebody who you have authorised to act on your behalf. The Agent will have the same permissions as yourself to view, complete, and submit your vat returns. They could also make any payments on your behalf. To allow someone to act as your online Agent you need to download and complete Form VAT AG2 MAN and send it to Isle of Man Customs and Excise. Once processed, the nominated Agent will be able to see all your previous VAT returns and submit new ones on your behalf.
Q How do I become an online Agent?
AIf you wish to be an online Agent then you need to download and complete VAT AG1 MAN and send this to Isle of Man Customs and Excise. Once processed you will be sent a unique online Agents Reference Number (this is not a VAT number).
Q I fill in VAT returns for many people but do not want to enrol as an online Agent. Do I have to enrol for every one of these VAT registrations?
A Yes, if you do not enrol as an Agent then you will have to enrol initially for each vat registration, but this is a one time process.
Q As an Agent, what information do I need to enrol for VAT services on-line?
A To enrol as an Agent, you will require your Agent Reference Number, your Activation Code and know your Keyword.

Making payments

Q How do I pay the VAT due?
A You can pay online using a debit card, credit card or credit transfer (there is an additional administration charge if using a credit card). If you wish to pay by other electronic means (i.e. BACS, CHAPS, Bank Giro Credit), the account details are

Branch: IOM Bank, Athol Street, Douglas
Sort Code: 55-91-00
Sterling Account No: 85526940
Account Name: Isle of Man Government – Customs and Excise Special Account

Ensure that your VAT number is shown as a reference for electronic payments
If you pay your VAT liability by electronic means, a 7 day extension to the due date for the VAT returns is granted.

Payment by means other than electronic
Cross all cheques and postal orders “AC Payee Only” and make them payable to “IOM Government”. In your own interest do not send notes, coins or uncrossed postal orders through the post
Please write your VAT registration number on the back of all cheques

You must tell Douglas VAT Office about any changes in your business circumstances (including change of address).

You must ensure that the completed form is transmitted AND any payment due is received by the due date. Payments should be sent to

The Collector
Isle of Man Customs & Excise
P.O. Box 6
Custom House
North Quay
Isle of Man
IM99 1AG

Q I currently pay my VAT return via BACS and wish to continue with this method. Which button do I select when submitting my VAT return, "Submit with Payment" or "Submit without Payment"?
AThe online payment methods available are via debit and credit card or credit transfer and these are in addition to any other method of payment you may have already arranged with us. So if you already have a BACS payment method set up, you would select button “Submit without Payment”.
Q Do I have to submit a payment at the same time as my VAT return?
ANo, you can just submit the VAT return on its own, you will need to select the button “Submit without Payment”.
Q Is there anything I can do if I can’t pay all the VAT due?
AYou must still send in your VAT return by the due date. But if you can’t pay by the due date, write to us separately explaining why you can’t pay. Please don’t send post-dated cheques .
Q I have completed my VAT return and I expect a repayment from you, so which button do I select, "Submit with Payment" or "Submit without Payment"?
AOnce you have completed your VAT return, select the button "Submit without Payment". Your repayment will be paid via the normal Government weekly cheque run.
Q Can I make a payment to Isle of Man Customs and Excise that isn't related to VAT?
AYes, you can make a payment for any Customs and Excise regime without having to enroll for VAT. You need to select menu option "General Payments" and select the type of payment you would like to make. Payments can be made by debit card or credit card (but there is a 2% administration charge for credit cards).
Q Occasionally I receive a system lock error message, what does this mean?
ACustoms & Excise limit the time allowed to submit the EC Sales List after its due date. If this date has passed, the system locks the form. Under special circumstances, the form can be unlocked if required.