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Businesses Need To Prepare For Online VAT Returns

Businesses should start preparing for mandatory online VAT filing before the April 2010 deadline, Weybridge accountants TWP Accounting LLP are warning.

HM Revenue & Customs plans to phase out paper VAT Returns from 31 March 2010. After that date, if your turnover is over £100,000 – or if you are newly VAT registered – you will have to submit your return online and pay VAT electronically.

However, the online filing system has been up and running for some time now, so there is nothing to stop you using the new system ahead of the change over.

To register, you should go to the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk with your VAT registration number, the address shown on your VAT returns, the effective date of your registration, last VAT return period and the net tax (Box 5) figure on the last VAT return you submitted to hand.

TWP Accounting LLP is able to register to submit returns on behalf of clients, but if you want to try it yourself then follow the instructions below:

1.     Choose ‘VAT’ on the home page
2.     From the right hand side drop down menu select ‘register for VAT’
3.     Select ‘registration process for new users’
4.     Follow the steps to register, provide the requested information and agree the terms and conditions. During this process you will receive a user ID and be prompted to set a password and you will get immediate authorisation to use the online filing system.
5.     Approximately 7 to 10 days later you will receive a PIN number and a reminder of your User ID. You only need the PIN number if you wish to use the online service to make alterations to your VAT registration details and you must activate the PIN number within 28 days.

“The online filing has the advantage of 24/7 access, a seven-day extension to file your return and instant acknowledgement of receipt,” said Philip Munk, Managing Partner at TWP Accounting.

“A preliminary return check is carried out so that any obvious errors are identified quickly, but you can still nominate an agent or access your registration to make any changes.

“The only disadvantage of online filing is that payment must also be made electronically. You can use direct debit, BACS, CHAPS, Internet and telephone banking and Bank Giro.”

For more information contact TWP Accounting on contact 01932 704700.

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