VAT cheats urged to come clean

21st December 2011

This month we are urging businesses that haven’t already done so to complete the VAT registration process before the new deadline of 31st December in order to avoid punishment.

In July this year, HMRC launched a new VAT initiative giving people the opportunity to put their VAT in order and simultaneously avoid fines.

However, those that didn’t come forward before the initial September 31st deadline are being identified and are likely to face substantial penalties and even criminal prosecution.

Liz Maher, said: “HMRC is systematically going through its records to establish which businesses have and haven’t registered for their VAT and it is unlikely that any companies will slip through the net.”

By registering intent to take part in the initiative before 31st December, businesses will receive their VAT registration number and instructions on how to complete their VAT return. By doing this, they are likely to face a lower penalty rate, of about 10 per cent, on the VAT that has been paid late.

According to HMRC, the VAT initiative campaign focuses on businesses trading above the VAT registration threshold (for this year an annual turnover of more than £73,000) but who have not yet registered with them for VAT.

Mrs Maher added, “If you are late to register, you will still have to pay VAT on the period when you should have paid it, plus a likely penalty on top. However, this is still preferable to paying a substantial fine.”

Full details are available on HMRC’s website www.HMRC.gov.uk or Centurion VAT Specialists.

A reliable alternative to the Big Four, Centurion VAT Specialists have offices in Bristol and Newport. Established in 1998 the company is made up of five senior level VAT practitioners who have expertise in sectors including education, third sector, housing associations and manufacturing. Centurion VAT Specialists is the largest independent specialised VAT consultancy in Wales and was shortlisted for Best VAT Team at the Taxation Awards 2011 in recognition of its high standards.

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