Submitting online VAT returns

By Tolley

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

  • Submitting online VAT returns
  • Who must submit an electronic VAT return?
  • How to submit an online VAT return
  • Penalties

With effect from 1 April 2010 newly VAT registered businesses and businesses with a turnover of at least £100,000 have been required tosubmit their VAT return electronically via the HMRC website rather than in paper format.

De Voil Indirect Tax Service V7.300 (subscription sensitive); Notice 700/12 

With effect from 1 April 2012 all businesses, except for certain exempted business, are now required tosubmit their VAT return online as well.

If a business is legally required tosubmit an electronic return and it renders a paper VAT return it may incur a penalty.

Who must submit an electronic VAT return?
From 1 April 2010

Businesses meeting either of the following conditions are required tosubmit a VAT return electronically, via the HMRC website, with effect from 1 April 2010:

  • businesses that were VAT registered prior to1 April 2010 and have an annual VAT exclusive turnover of at least £100,000 for the 12 months ending 31 December 2009
  • a business that VAT registered on or after 1 April 2010
From 1 April 2012

All businesses that were not already required tobe VAT registered from 1 April 2010, with the exception of the following business, who are still exempted from being required tosubmit an electronic VAT return:

  • businesses that are subject toan insolvency procedure. However if the business is in an approved Voluntary Arrangement, administration or trust deed, it may submit online if this is preferable
  • businesses where HMRC is satisfied that the business is run by practising members of a religious society, whose beliefs prevent them from using

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