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Online VAT Services

Following Lord Carter’s recommendations for increasing the use of online services, HMRC are planning a number of changes to its VAT Online services.

Currently it is possible to register for VAT and submit VAT returns online but the take up level is relatively low. This is despite the fact that online VAT registration tends to be quicker than the paper option and by submitting VAT returns online, businesses are allowed an extra 7 calendar days for the submission/payment of any VAT due. Payment of the VAT must be made by electronic means i.e. BACS/CHAPS, direct debit and bank giro credit transfer.

With effect from October 2008, HMRC will be extending its existing “Billpay” system to include VAT. This means that businesses who submit returns online will also have the option of paying online using a debit card.

Other proposals for the future include mandatory online filing of VAT returns for all newly VAT registered businesses and those already VAT registered with a turnover above £100,000. The proposed implementation date for this change is 1 April 2010, with the expectation that paper filing will be phased out completely by 2012.

HMRC are keen to involve businesses in the need for other changes/improvements to the VAT online service (such as the viewing of historical VAT return data online). Therefore, they have commissioned research into the extent and nature of the use of this service and the needs of those who will be accessing the system (particularly small and medium sized enterprises). They are also seeking views/comments from businesses and their advisers in general. Any comments should be e mailed to .



Date: 26th June, 2008
Author: Jane Stacey


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