VAT Late Returns Campaign…

Businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns are to be targeted by HMRC. As many as 50,000 will be targeted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this month with warnings that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised because they failed to put in VAT returns on time.

More than 600,000 businesses are required to submit VAT returns each month and most do so on time. Approximately 50,000 businesses fail to meet the deadlines however and will be contacted by HMRC regarding this as part of a new campaign. Businesses are being given an opportunity to get up to date and pay the tax they owe by 28 February. Businesses are also being advised that by using this campaign to come forward voluntarily, they might receive better terms, as any penalty they pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to them first. If they still fail to pay any tax owed by 28 February, their tax affairs will attract greater attention and they are liable for hefty fines and even criminal prosecution.

The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign is aimed at businesses that have one or more VAT return outstanding, and have been told to submit their returns but have not done so.

Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

“If HMRC has sent you a VAT return and you have not yet taken any action, this campaign is a reminder to bring your tax affairs up to date. But time is running out. After 28 February, if they have not submitted their outstanding VAT returns and paid what they owe, HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any VAT that is unpaid. Penalties, or even criminal investigation, could follow. “

People can take part in the campaign by:

  • Completing and paying any outstanding VAT returns immediately
  • Telling HMRC if they have stopped trading or have changed their business details.