January 31, 2012 - Anonymous

VAT-registered firms must complete returns online from April

VAT-registered businesses must submit their VAT returns entirely online from this spring, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has said.

At present, only newly-registered businesses and those with a turnover of more than £100,000 have to submit their VAT online. Anyone else can send HMRC paper returns if they wish.

However, from 1 April paper-based VAT returns will be abolished. All 1.9 million VAT-registered businesses will have to complete their returns online, and pay electronically, for accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2012.

To submit returns online, businesses need to be registered on HMRC’s VAT Online Service.

According to HMRC, online filing offers firms a number of advantages including an automatic acknowledgement that your return has been received, a sum checker, and an email alert to remind you when your next online return is due.