V5.359 Failure to file VAT return electronically
FA 2007 s 93 extends, with effect from 19 July 2007, HMRC's powers under FA 2002 s 135 (to require submission of returns by electronic means, and to impose penalties for non-compliance) to any taxation matter for which HMRC are responsible. (Such powers were formerly limited to ex-Inland Revenue matters.) The requirement to submit returns in electronic from was introduced, for the majority of VAT-registered traders, with effect from 1 April 20101, and was further extended to cover all VAT-registered traders (with some minor exceptions) from 1 March 2012.
A person who is required to submit a return electronically but fails to do so is liable to a penalty if that return relates to a period which ends on or after 31 March 20112. However, a person who—
(a) on 31 March 2012 was registered for VAT with an effective date of registration before that date; and
(b) was not as at 31 March 2012 required to make a return by electronic means
is only liable to a penalty in respect of such a failure in relation to returns for periods which end on or after 31 March 20133.
The level of the penalty depends on the annual VAT exclusive turnover4, as follows5: