From the first of April 2010 businesses registered in the UK for VAT will have to lodge VAT Returns online and pay any VAT electronically. From April 2012 this will apply to nearly all VAT registered businesses.
At present whether you are lodging your returns online or by paper you must have them lodged and paid by their due dates, these dates are imposed by HM Revenue & Customs.
Paper returns will usually be due within one month of the period end date on the return. If you lodge your return online and pay VAT due electronically you will get an extra seven days.
The criteria for completing VAT Returns will differ depending on the VAT scheme that is being applied. Apart from the standard method of calculating VAT there are a number of alternative schemes, a few examples these are:
Annual Accounting Scheme – only one annual VAT Return has to be prepared and lodged with HMRC, using this method payments on account are made either monthly or quarterly and these are based on VAT paid in previous periods.
Cash Accounting Scheme – using the standard method VAT is due when an invoice is raised, using cash accounting vat is due when the payment is received. However, VAT on expenses is also only reclaimed when a payment is made instead of when an invoice is received.
Flat Rate Scheme – This is designed to give small businesses less work to do when calculating vat record keeping. A percentage is applied to turnover for a certain period; this is then paid over to HMRC. VAT on expenses is not taken into account.
When preparing and calculating VAT it is vitally important that it’s done competently, accurately and with HMRC deadlines in mind. We have been producing VAT Returns for our clients for many years whether it’s online or by paper and we pride ourselves in doing so, to an excellent standard.