Value Added Tax

Submitting online VAT returns

Produced by Tolley
  • 04 Jan 2022 11:50

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Submitting online VAT returns
  • Who must submit an electronic VAT return?
  • How is an electronic VAT return submitted?
  • Penalties
  • Penalty rates
  • Reasonable excuse
  • Appeals
  • Practical points

Submitting online VAT returns

All VAT registered businesses are required to submit their VAT return electronically unless they are covered by one of the exemptions explained below. If a business is legally required to submit an electronic return and it renders a paper VAT return, it may incur a penalty. This note should be read in conjunction with the Making Tax Digital ― overview guidance note as most businesses are required to meet the MTD provisions when submitting VAT returns.

Who must submit an electronic VAT return?

All businesses are required to submit an electronic VAT return, with the exception of the following, who are exempted from being required to submit an electronic VAT return:

  1. where it is not possible for the business to use a computer to submit its returns, for reasons of age, disability or remoteness of location

  2. where HMRC is satisfied that the business is run by practising members of a religious society, whose beliefs prevent them from using computers

  3. where the business is subject to an insolvency procedure; however, if the business has an approved voluntary arrangement online returns can be submitted

If the business considers that it meets one of the exemptions then it needs to write to HMRC providing a full explanation, together with any supporting documentation, detailing why it is not required submit its returns electronically.

HMRC also has the ability to approve telephone filing as an electronic return system for use by specified categories of VAT registered businesses as a result of the decision reached

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