April 1st 2012 - Important Deadline for Changes to VAT Returns

April 1st 2012 Deadline - HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is warning all VAT registered businesses across the UK about important changes to VAT returns that are coming into effect this spring.

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From 1st April 2012, all VAT registered businesses must send their VAT returns online and pay their VAT electronically. This is a change from the current situation where only newly-registered businesses and those companies with more than £100,000 turnover have to file and pay their VAT online.

The new rules will cover VAT returns filed for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2012.
If your business does not currently file its VAT online, according to HMRC you should switch as soon as possible, to avoid the last minute rush nearer the deadline and to gain the benefits of online filing which are:

  • an automatic acknowledgement that your return has been received;
  • a handy arithmetic checker to help make sure you've done your sums correctly; and
  • an email alert to remind you when your next online return is due (as, after April, HMRC will stop sending out paper returns to customers who are now required to file online).

Colin Corder, Mitchell Charlesworth's resident VAT explains that there are also some additional incentives to move online. Specifically; you gain an additional 7 days to submit and pay the VAT return which can be augmented by a further 3 days should you choose to pay by direct debit. This means that money will not come out of your bank account until the 10th day of the month.

It should be noted that this benefit may change once all businesses are sending their VAT returns online as this was an incentive to move people online before the deadline.

To file your VAT return online, you will need to register for HMRC's VAT Online Service and www.online.hmrc.gov.uk. Companies moving to online VAT returns will also need to set up their preferred electronic payment method. Visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/vat.htm for more information on the various options.

If you have any questions about these changes or would like further information about how Mitchell Charlesworth can help you with your company's Value Added Tax, call our VAT expert Colin Corder on tel: 0151 255 2300 or email: colin.corder@mitchellcharlesworth.co.uk.

Alternatively, complete a quick enquiry form and we will respond to you within 1 working day.

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