All VAT returns in respect of accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2012, must be submitted online to HMRC. You should be receiving a letter from HMRC this month advising you of the change and what you’ll need to do to start submitting online. Essentially, you will need to go to their website www.hmrc.gov.ukand register as a new user for online VAT services.
Furthermore, payments to HMRC in respect of a VAT liability will need to be settled electronically. So you will need to set up a Direct Debit or BACS payment, for example.
You would be encouraged to register for the service ahead of the 1 April 2012, to ensure that the transition to online is smooth. Furthermore, you should bear in mind how long some of the payment methods take to set up and ensure that they will be ready in time.
Your local TaxAssist Accountant can talk you through this, or alternatively, they can organise your payment method and submit your VAT returns for you.
By Jo Nockels
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