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File your April VAT return early, warns HMRC

File your April VAT return early, warns HMRC

Contractor accountants and small business owners should be aware that paper VAT returns due at the end of April, need to be filed early.

Paper VAT returns are generally filed on the final working day of a month. But this year, the 30th of April falls on a Saturday and on the 29th we have a bank holiday to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

HMRC has warned that cheque payments must also be cleared to the Revenue’s bank account by the 28th and reminds people that a cheque must be banked three days in advance if it is to get through the clearing system in time.

As from April 2012, virtually all UK businesses that are VAT registered will be required to file their returns online and make their payments electronically. HMRC has urged firms that still file paper returns to prepare for the change and register for online filing well in advance of the switch.

Businesses that are concerned about electronic filing would be best advised to look to their accountant for help and advice.

Meanwhile, HMRC is looking into ways to speed up the process for dealing with new VAT registrations. The Revenue currently has a target of processing 70% of applications within ten days. In January this year, HMRC beat this target and checked 79.9% of all applications within the timeframe. However, the government department concedes that it takes longer than it should to conduct in-depth checks.

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Image: A lot happens over Coffee (including spilling a few beans) by “The Wanderer’s Eye”

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