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UK Warns Businesses On Outstanding VAT Returns

Thursday, 10 January 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAIT Technical
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By Robert Lee (

Executive summary

HMRC has warned as many as 50 000 business to pay outstanding VAT or face close scrutiny as part of their VAT Outstanding Returns campaign. A deadline of 28 February 2013 has been set.

Full article

The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has warned that the tax affairs of as many as 50,000 businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns will be closely scrutinized unless they pay what they owe by February 28.

The warning has been issued as part of the HMRC VAT Outstanding Returns campaign. According to Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, "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." After the end of February, "HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any VAT that is unpaid. Penalties, or even criminal investigation, could follow." HMRC urges businesses to complete and pay their VAT returns immediately, or to let HMRC know if they have stopped trading or have changed their business details.

More than 600,000 businesses have to put in VAT returns each month.

Nearly GBP540m (USD866m) has been raised by HMRC from campaigns, and a further GBP137m from follow-up activity. Other campaigns have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, coaches and tutors, electricians, online traders, higher rate taxpayers with outstanding returns, and direct sellers.



Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

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