Processing purchasing card statements (“P-Cards”)

The uBASE system is generally used to purchase goods and services. Access to uBASE is restricted by profile to authorised users who have been trained to use the system. The profile required to process a P-card statement is ‘Orderer’.

However, P-cards are different. Here a holder of a card will make a purchase. Within 48 hours the details of the purchase will be recorded on the Barclaycard system against the cardholder’s account. This means the system can be accessed at any point to process the transaction. As with any purchase we need to put a tax code against it to record the appropriate VAT treatment.

When processing a P-Card Statement, a form of purchase order is created on the Barclaycard online system and a Tax Code entered against each line to define the VAT status of the transaction (i.e. whether VAT has been charged by the supplier and whether this is reclaimable to any extent). Once the spend is approved by the appropriate authority the system then downloads the data into uBASE.

How to decide which Tax Code to use in uBASE

For purchases from the UK, check:

Do you have a VAT invoice or VAT receipt for your purchase? A credit card receipt is NOT a VAT receipt.

You can only answer yes to this question if the invoice or receipt for your costs has ALL of this information on it:

  • supplier's name
  • supplier's address
  • supplier's VAT registration number
  • the amount of VAT charged on your purchase

If your receipt matches the VAT invoice or VAT receipt criteria then:

  • the system will have populated the data for the figures;
  • use the appropriate Tax Code for your purchase:
    • M0 if the purchase has no VAT charged (eg books)
    • M2 if VAT has been charged but is fully recoverable*
    • M3 if VAT would be chargeable in the UK but would be non-recoverable
    • M4 if VAT would be chargeable in the UK but would be part-recoverable*

* VAT is NEVER reclaimable on hospitality and business entertaining, this includes any food or accommodation which is provided free of charge to non-University employees. More information about recoverable VAT is available in explaining the differences between recoverable, part- and non-recoverable VAT.

Do you have a receipt which is NOT a VAT invoice or VAT receipt for a UK purchase?

  • use Tax Code M0 in on the system
  • you won’t be able to reclaim VAT on this purchase. VAT is not reclaimable without a VAT invoice or VAT receipt

For purchases from overseas of travel, subsistence, accommodation or conference fees:

  • enter the full amount shown on the receipt (gross cost including VAT) as the ‘net price’ in uBASE
  • use Tax Code XX in the system
  • the type of overseas purchases shown above are not subject to UK VAT, even if the supplier has charged VAT applicable to their country. These purchases are treated as outside the scope of UK VAT

On-line purchases

Often a VAT receipt is sent with the goods and the delivery note and not supplied in any form of print off facility from the web pages. If someone has ordered the goods themselves via the web you will need to ask them to provide a VAT receipt otherwise we cannot claim any VAT (if we are eligible to).

For all other purchases of overseas goods and services please contact the Tax section for specific advice.

The Future...

The Barclaycard system is set up so that vendors which meet certain criteria can send less information in paper form. The highest 'level' (Level 3) has been validated by HMRC to say that no VAT invoice is required, the level of detail provided by the vendor's system is sufficient to demonstrate a taxable supply has taken place, allowing us to claim VAT without a physical receipt. However, at present there are very few vendors which have Level 3 status and therefore for the time being we need to continue to obtain physical VAT receipts.


Need help or more information?

Who to contact
If you are in any doubt about whether your corporate card purchase was subject to VAT or which VAT code to use contact the Tax section for advice and guidance before completing your documentation.