Filing VAT Returns Online

I recently received a letter from HM Revenue & Customs informing me that I am now required to submit my VAT returns online. Can you explain further?

1st March 2010

From the 1st April 2010 all business with an annual turnover of 100,000 (excluding VAT) and any newly VAT registered business will be required to submit their VAT returns online, and pay any VAT electronically.

The online VAT Return is very similar to the paper version and there has been no change to the rules on how you complete your return or how you calculate VAT. Also, you won't have to change your existing record keeping system - you can still keep your records on paper if you prefer.

Any business which is required to file online must sign up to the VAT online service through the HMRC website. Signing up to do your VAT online is straightforward and you don't have to be a computer expert. The service is designed to make the process easier, more secure and more efficient for small businesses.

Further advantages of using the VAT online service system include setting up an email reminder service to advise when your next online VAT Return is due. Another benefit as you are required to make payments electronically either through Direct Debit, internet banking, telephone banking, is that you receive a further seven extra calendar (in addition to the usual one month deadline) to file your return and for the payment to reach the HMRC bank account.

If you are concerned about any aspect of this new requirement, please contact your local TaxAssist Accountant, who can assist with submission of your VAT returns online.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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