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Deadline to register under the VAT initiative is December 31st

Deadline to register under the VAT initiative is December 31st

HMRC has reminded contractor accountants that companies have until the end of this year to register for VAT under the Revenue’s recent initiative.

The Revenue launched the VAT initiative in July. The initiative was aimed at companies that should have registered for VAT but hadn’t and it provided them with the opportunity to put their tax affairs in order. Rule breakers were given until the end of September to confirm that they would be participating in the scheme.

Since that date, the Revenue has identified some of the people who did not come forward and they could now face significantly higher penalties, and in some cases, criminal prosecution.

The VAT campaign targets companies that have an annual turnover in excess of £73,000 and have not registered with HMRC for VAT. The sectors affected include agriculture, business services, construction, horticulture, hospitality, property and retail distribution.

Firms that did register their intention to participate in the VAT initiative must complete the registration process no later than December 31st. Once registration is complete, they will be issued with a VAT registration number and directions on completing their first VAT return. The majority of companies will face a 10% penalty charge on their underpaid VAT.

Marian Wilson, the head of campaigns at HMRC, explained that everyone needs to pay their fair share of VAT and the Revenue will be targeting those who it believes should have come forward early next year.

She went on to urge anybody who has unpaid VAT liabilities to come forward now. The penalty imposed for owning up now will still be less than if the Revenue is forced to conduct a lengthy investigation into their affairs, she added.

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Image: Time Management by RLHyde

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