Paper VAT returns to disappear this spring

At present newly-registered businesses and those with turnovers exceeding £100,000 are required to submit their VAT returns online and pay electronically.  All other VAT-registered businesses can submit a paper return and do not have to pay electronically.

This is to change in April when all VAT registered businesses in the UK regardless of turnover will have to submit their VAT returns online and pay for them electronically.  This will apply to all returns with accounting periods beginning on or after 1st April 2012.  This will mean paper returns will be a thing of the past for 1.9 million VAT-registered businesses in the UK.  HMRC will be sending a letter to every VAT-registered business not already required to submit online, advising them of the change and detailing what steps need to be taken and they will no longer send out paper returns for those not currently registered to submit returns online.

It is therefore essential that all VAT registered businesses are registered to submit their VAT returns online.  HMRC have highlighted the benefits of submitting your return online compared to posting paper returns.

  • Security – all transactions are 100 per cent secure as they are encrypted to the highest commercial standards.
  • Convenience – the online service is available day and night, whenever is best for you and you will receive email alerts when the next online return is due.
  • Accuracy – there are automatic checks to help reduce errors, meaning there’s less chance of having your return sent back to you to be corrected or for clarification.
  • Reliability – you don’t have to worry about your return being lost or delayed in the post as you’ll get an on-screen acknowledgement – including a unique submission receipt reference number – when you submit your return.

To submit VAT returns online, the taxpayer needs to be registered and enrolled for HMRC’s VAT Online Service.  To find out more about VAT registration and submitting your VAT returns online please contact us here at M. B. McGrady & Co.

If you would like to discuss this please contact us on 028 44 616321 or e-mail us at [email protected] .