HMRC reminds businesses of VAT online filing changes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has sent a letter to VAT registered businesses reminding them to prepare for some important changes to the way that returns must be filed from next April.

As of 1 April 2010, businesses with an annual turnover of £100,000 or more (excluding VAT) will need to file their VAT returns online and pay their VAT electronically.

Businesses registering for VAT on or after 1 April 2010 will also have to file their return online and pay electronically, whatever their turnover.

To file a VAT return online, businesses new to HMRC’s online services need to register for the VAT online service by visiting www.online.hmrc.gov.uk, clicking “register” under the “new user” section and then following the instructions.

Current HMRC online service users can add VAT online to their portfolio in the ‘services you can add’ section of ‘your HMRC services’.

Stephen Banyard of HMRC said: “Filing VAT returns online has a number of benefits: it’s secure, convenient, does arithmetical checks and calculations, and provides firms with an immediate online acknowledgement that their online return has been safely received.

“So, if your turnover is £100,000 or more, and you’re not already filing your VAT return online, sign-up now for VAT online services – that way, you’ll avoid a last-minute rush, and be able to enjoy the benefits of online filing sooner rather than later.”

Further help is available at www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat, or by calling HMRC’s VAT helpline on 0845 010 9000 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday).