August 19, 2010

e-filing of VAT returns from April 2010

All VAT registered businesses will be expected to file their VAT returns electronically from April 2010. The sooner businesses are registered on the Government Gateway the better it will be for the smooth declarations of VAT. Don’t wait until April!

From 1 April 2010, all taxpayers with an annual turnover of £100,000 or more – and all newly-registered businesses (whatever their turnover) – will be required to submit their VAT returns online and pay electronically. Other taxpayers will continue to have the option of submitting paper returns but HMRC expects that the obligation to file electronically will be extended to all taxpayers in 2012. There are clear benefits to e-filing, including an extra seven days to submit returns and an extra three days to pay, together with providing immediate confirmation that the VAT return has been validly submitted.

In practice there are two ways in which businesses can e-file a VAT return. These are: 1) directly with the government gateway website; or 2) via an HMRC accredited third party product.

Using the government gateway provides a basic submission mechanism allowing business to input values that replicate a paper based VAT100, and simply submit. The use of an approved third party website to e-file a VAT return can bring added value to the process and include functionality over and above that which is available on the government gateway. Such functionality can include:

• permanent online electronic storage of all VAT100′s filed, so users can quickly and easily refer back to historical VAT100 submissions;

• the ability to compare and contrast current period values to historic periods, giving an extra level of assurance before final submission by using trend analysis;

• tracking voluntary disclosures – monitoring the value and status of disclosures;

• the ability to deal with multiple UK registrations and e-filings from one place, tracking submission deadlines and monitoring progress, final sign off and submission; and

• putting in place simple, but useful, electronic sign-off procedures.

If you require further information regarding any of the points above please do contact us.

Elysian Associates
September 2009

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