How to complete your VAT return online

The online submission of a company’s VAT bill has been compulsory since April 2010 for all businesses registered after that date and any others with a turnover greater than £100,000. From April 2012, nearly all of the remaining VAT-registered businesses had to follow suit, so submitting and paying VAT online is now the most commonly used method of making a VAT return.

Online submission

Like a lot of other online services, submitting your VAT return online is quicker and more convenient than other methods. In a lot of cases, it also gives a business more time to submit their return and pay the VAT that’s due.

Features of the service

This service is not only quicker and more convenient, it is also more accurate. The system uses automatic checks which help to reduce errors. This leads to fewer occurrences of returns being sent back for correction or clarification, which speeds the process. Once you have completed the online registration and enrolment process, you will be able to submit your VAT return at any time of day or night, which is very convenient for small business owners who work all hours. Peace of mind is provided by a securely encryption program that matches the highest standards commercially available and your return is sent to HMRC with an on-screen acknowledgement confirming that it has been submitted correctly.

Help is at hand

If the idea of submitting your VAT return online is a little bewildering for you, or if you require help with the sign up process to the VAT Online service, step-by-step guides can be found on the HMRC website. There, PDF documents and Youtube videos will guide you through the process.

Final word

For some business owners, the move from paper to online submission of their VAT returns could be difficult to master, but the HMRC aren't leaving business owners out in the cold. A Business Education and Support Team has been set up to help businesses understand the process. Free workshops and Business Advice Open Days are organised to make the transition to dealing with VAT online as painless as possible.

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