Have you signed-up with the Tax Office to submit your VAT returns online? If not then you will shortly receive a letter from the Taxman reminding you of your online filing obligations. Almost all VAT businesses are now required to submit their VAT returns online for periods starting on and after 1 April 2012. The only exceptions are for:
- those who are subject to insolvency proceedings; or
- where the person is a practising member of a religious order whose beliefs are incompatible with the use of electronic communications.
You must also pay any VAT due electronically, but this includes many more options than just using online banking. For example you can set up a direct debit (by phone or letter), which will automatically collect the amount of VAT reported on the online VAT return, three days after the deadline for submitting that return. However, the direct debit does need to be in place before your VAT return is submitted and at least two working days before the deadline for that return. So Friday 3 August 2012 is the last day for setting up a direct debit for VAT returns to be submitted by 7 August 2012.
You can use a debit or credit card to pay VAT due of less than £100,000 (but not any penalties or interest due), via the BillPay service online. However, if a credit card is used a fee of 1.4% will be added to the VAT amount due, and the payment will take three working days to arrive.