HM Revenue and Customs have an increasing trend to make on-line filing of information mandatory. Already all newly registered businesses must file their V.A.T. returns on-line, also those with a turnover of more than £100,000 must file their returns on-line. Even if turnover drops below £100,000 in the future, returns will still have to be filed on-line.

We can provide a complete service to small businesses from advising on when to register, advice on record keeping, keeping the records for you (this ties in with our book-keeping service) to filing the return on your behalf. We can help with any or all of the stages of the perparation of the V.A.T. return.

Did you know that you can register for VAT even if you have not reached the registration threshold? If most of your customers are VAT registered businesses then this will not increase your costs to them, you will then be able to reclaim VAT on relevant purchases.

If you are worried that the administration of VAT will cost more that the savings, maybe the flat rate scheme is for you. For more details contact us for advice or take a look at the HM Revenue and customs web page. HMRC Flat Rate Guidance

Flat Rate Scheme and the VAT rate change

It appears that HMRC are targeting busineses on the flat rate scheme. If you are using this scheme, check the percentage you are using and the way you are calculating it. The percentage is applied to Gross sales, not net sales.

Don't make yourself a target for HMRC, check now.

If you are unfortunate enough to receive a call from HMRC get professional help. Reports say that the Revenue staff involved on these enquiries are inexperienced and aggressive.

Paying VAT by cheque

Business that have to file VAT returns electronically have to pay their VAT electonically as well. Others can still pay by cheque. Be warned, from 1 April 2010, all cheque payments sent to HMRC by post are treated as being received by HMRC on the date when cleared funds reach HMRC's bank account, not the date of receipt.

You need to allow sufficant time for the cheque to be received and cleared through HMRC bank account.

HMRC aslo state: 

'If paying by post please make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only followed by your nine-digit VAT registration number and send it with your return using the pre-addressed envelope provided by HMRC. Do not fasten the cheque with paper clips or staples or in any other manner.'

For more information check here HMRC guidance.