Are you ready for online VAT returns and electronic payments?

 
Since April 2010 new and larger VAT registered businesses have been required to submit their VAT Returns online and pay any VAT due electronically.
 
As from 1 April 2012 all VAT registered businesses will be required to meet these requirements, apart from a very small number who will be exempt*
 
Paying your VAT electronically
 

Businesses which submit their VAT Returns online, must also pay any VAT due electronically. This generally gives businesses up to seven extra calendar days to submit their return and pay their VAT. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example businesses which file annual returns and make payments on account.

 
HMRC advise:
 
'The extended due date will be shown on your online return and you must ensure that cleared funds reach HMRC's bank account by this date. If your payment clears later than this, you may be liable to a surcharge for late payment'.
 
'There are various ways to pay including by Direct Debit, online and telephone banking. You can also pay by cheque at a bank or building society using a Bank Giro paying-in slip which can be obtained from HMRC. Since some of these methods can take a little time to set up, you should choose which method you want to use, and set it up, well in advance of the filing and payment deadline'.

 

* Your business may be exempt from doing your VAT online, if:
 

1.    It is subject to an insolvency procedure - but if the business is subject to an approved Voluntary Arrangement, administration or trust deed, an online submission may be made

2.    HMRC is satisfied that the business is run by practising members of a religious society, whose beliefs prevent them from using computers.

If you believe either of these exemptions apply then it is important to confirm the position with HMRC and not assume that the exemption applies.
 

If you would like any help with your VAT return including registering for online submission then please get in touch.

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