If your annual turnover is over £100,000 you should have been filing your returns online from 1 April 2010 and paying any VAT electronically. If your annual turnover is below £100,000 the deadline to go online is 1 April 2012.
If you should have been filing online from 1 April 2010, HMRC will start issuing penalties to businesses who fail to submit their return online after 31 March 2011. If a return for a period ending after that date is not filed electronically, an automatic penalty will be charged. This will be between £100 and £400 depending on your annual turnover.
The VAT online service system is fairly straight forward and has additional advantages which 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, please contact your local TaxAssist Accountant, who can assist with the 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.