Calculating VAT Backwards in Excel

VAT Backwards in Excel:

  • Briefly introduce the concept of VAT (Value Added Tax) and its importance in business transactions.
  • Highlight the scenario where calculating VAT backward becomes necessary (e.g., analyzing expense reports, determining profit margins).
  • Emphasize the challenges associated with manual calculations and the benefits of using Excel for accurate and efficient VAT calculations.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Method 1: Dividing by 1 + VAT Rate:

  1. Enter the VAT-inclusive price in a cell (e.g., A1).
  2. Enter the VAT rate as a decimal (e.g., 0.2 for 20% VAT) in another cell (e.g., B1).
  3. Use the formula =A1/(1+B1) in a third cell (e.g., C1) to calculate the VAT-exclusive price.
  4. Explain the logic behind the formula: by dividing by 1 + VAT rate, you effectively extract the portion that represents the original price before VAT was added.

Method 2: Using the PERCENTILE Function (Excel 2010 and later):

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 from Method 1.
  2. Use the formula =PERCENTILE(1-(B1+1)^-1,99) in cell C1 (note the adjustment for Excel 2016 and later: =PERCENTILE.INC(1-(B1+1)^-1,99)).
  3. Explain the PERCENTILE function and its application in this context: it finds the 99th percentile of an array whose values steadily decrease from 1 to 0 as the VAT rate increases. This value then represents the VAT-exclusive price.

Method 3: Using Custom Functions (Optional):

  1. Briefly explain custom functions and their potential advantages (e.g., reusability, code clarity).
  2. Show an example of a custom function for calculating VAT backward, providing code and clear comments.
  3. Emphasize that custom functions are more advanced and not necessary for basic VAT calculations, but can help automate complex scenarios.

Additional Considerations:

  • Address potential issues and workarounds, such as negative VAT amounts or varying VAT rates.
  • Discuss best practices for formatting cells, applying consistent formulas, and using error handling.
  • Offer tips for organizing data and ensuring accuracy in your Excel spreadsheets.


  • Summarize the key takeaways and emphasize the benefits of using Excel for efficient VAT calculations.
  • Encourage readers to practice and explore different methods, and offer links to further resources (e.g., official Excel documentation, VAT calculation tools).

Official Links:

By following this outline and incorporating relevant links, you can create a valuable and informative blog post that empowers readers to master VAT calculations in Excel. Remember to personalize the content with your insights and examples to make it engaging and beneficial for your target audience.


Tax-free shopping for international visitors 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *