VAT paper returns thing of the past, warns HMRC

HMRC has issued a reminder to all VAT-registered businesses in the UK, warning that returns must be submitted online from April. The change will bring an end to decades of sending in paper returns, with officials hoping the switch will simplify the process for both HMRC and the taxpayers.

Under the current regulations, only newly registered businesses and those companies with a turnover of over £100,000 must submit VAT returns online, with all payments made electronically. From April, HMRC estimates that a further 1.9 million VAT-registered businesses in the UK will be required to submit VAT returns online as well as paying bills electronically.

The rules will apply to all accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2012. Under the changes, every VAT-registered trader not already submitting online will receive a letter from HMRC in February, informing them of the change and what to do next.