HMRC has said that as many as 50,000 businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns will be targeted this month with warnings that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised.
The VAT Outstanding Return 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. Some will have received an assessment of VAT for these periods.
HMRC will give these businesses an opportunity to get up to date and pay the tax they owe by February 28. After that, HMRC will target them and take a much closer look at their tax affairs. By using this campaign to come forward voluntarily, HMRC says they might receive better terms, as any penalty they pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to them first.
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 February 28, 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.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2012