HMRC has rules about what constitues proof of expenditure that includes VAT that you can reclaim.  The level of proof required for purchases over £250 are more stringent than those for purchases under £250.

For purchases above £250 the VAT invoice must show:
  • an invoice number which is unique and follows on from the number of the previous invoice
  • the seller’s name or trading name, and address
  • the seller’s VAT registration number
  • the invoice date
  • the tax point (this is the point at which VAT is applied which may not be the same date the invoice was created)
  • the customer’s name or trading name, and address
  • a description of the items or services being supplied
For purchases under £250 the invoice must show:
  • the seller’s name and address
  • the seller’s VAT registration number
  • the time of supply (tax point)
  • a description of the goods or services
It is worth bearing this in mind in case of a VAT inspection.  It is always tempting to reclaim VAT on items where you don’t have a VAT invoice if you know that the supplier is VAT registered but it could land you in trouble later on.