The latest VAT notes confirm that HMRC intend to seek approval for compelling virtually all VAT-registered traders to file online and pay electronically from April, 2012. The notes also say that HMRC are “working towards being able to receive faster payments from January 2012″. That is good news and removes a common source of irritation.
The text of the note is shown below:
During December 2011, HMRC intends to lay before Parliament regulations which, when passed, will require virtually all remaining VAT businesses to file their VAT returns online, and pay any VAT due electronically from April 2012.
HMRC will send letters during February 2012 to all the affected businesses – some of you may have already received yours. The letter lets you know that you will be affected by the change to online filing, and sets out what action you need to take.
Included with the letter is a handy step-by-step guide explaining how to sign up and file your VAT Return online. If you think you will need help converting to online filing, please don’t delay – get in touch with us immediately.
Sign up to VAT Online as soon as you’ve received the letter from HMRC. It’s easy to get started and there’s lots of helpful information on the HMRC website. Or if you can’t find what you need there, you can phone the VAT Online Helpdesk.
Please note that HMRC is planning to upgrade their IT services in April 2012. This means that, for a few days in early April, the VAT Online service may not be available (so you may not be able to sign up for VAT Online services or file a return during this period). To find out, nearer the time, exactly when the service will or will not be available, go to News and updates on our HMRC homepage and click on the Service Availability link and select VAT Online.
- •HMRC strongly recommends that you set up an email address so that they can remind you when your VAT Returns are due (you won’t receive a prompt from HMRC otherwise). If you do this, HMRC will send you an email reminder about six weeks before the due date. You can set up the email reminder service once you’ve signed up to VAT Online on the At a Glance page. Click on the Add email address link within the Maintain email address section and follow the on screen prompts.
- •If you don’t do this, you’ll need to put in place your own reminder system to make sure that you file each VAT Return and pay what you owe by the due date.
- •HMRC are working towards being able to receive faster payments from January 2012 and you can find more information on the website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/payingvat. Please note the limit on how much money can be transferred varies between banks.