‘Online only’ VAT returns weeks away

HMRC has issued a reminder to VAT-registered businesses that all VAT returns must be submitted online from April

Currently, only newly-registered businesses and those with turnovers of more than £100,000 have to submit VAT online, as well as paying electronically. Anyone else can send HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) a paper VAT return, if they wish.

From April, all 1.9 million VAT-registered businesses in the UK will have to submit their VAT returns online, and pay electronically, for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2012.

Every VAT-registered trader not already required to submit online will receive a letter from HMRC in February, advising them of the change, and what steps they need to take. HMRC says the move to online filing and payment will bring benefits including:

  • an automatic acknowledgement that a return has been received
  • an email alert to remind you when your next online return is due – after April HMRC will stop sending out paper returns to customers who are now required to submit online).

Businesses that have not submitted VAT online previously need to visit www.online.hmrc.gov.uk and click “Register” under the “New user” section, then follow the instructions.

Link: HMRC guidance