Businesses are being reminded that new regulations governing the filing of VAT returns and the payment of VAT liabilities are to come into effect next year.

As part of its review of the small business tax regime, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has put forward suggestions on the way that the VAT system can be streamlined and made easier to manage.

Closing a relief which allows larger firms to move off-shore in order to pay no VAT on items valued at £18 or less would benefit rather than hit smaller businesses, it has been claimed.

Plans by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to scrutinise the record keeping of smaller firms could prove costly for many enterprises, it has been claimed.

Public finances in January grew by the largest amount in over two years.

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