VAT Online - how businesses pay and send VAT returns to HMRC is changing

From 1 April 2010, the following VAT businesses will have to file their VAT returns online and pay any VAT electronically:

a) those with an annual VAT exclusive turnover of £100,000 or more;

and

b) any business that registers - or should have registered - for VAT on or after 1 April 2010, irrespective of turnover.

Telling businesses that they have to file online

HMRC has detailed the upcoming changes in VAT Notes during 2009 and early 2010, and also in a mailing sent to all VAT registered businesses last November.

During February 2010, all businesses affected by the change should have received a letter from HMRC. The letter sets out the requirement to file VAT returns online - for accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2010 - and it also includes:

a) confirmation of the business's effective date of registration for VAT (which you or your client will need to be able to register and enrol for HMRC's online services);

and

b) a guide to signing up to the VAT Online service and filing a VAT return, step by step.

Take a look at HMRC's online demonstrator to see how to register and enrol for the VAT for online service at www.hmrc.gov.uk/demo