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HMRC issues warning over late VAT returns


Thousands of businesses are being urged to submit their outstanding VAT returns by 28 February under a new HMRC campaign.


While the majority of firms submit their VAT returns by the specified deadlines, HMRC believes that around 50,000 businesses still have returns outstanding.


As part of its VAT Outstanding Returns campaign, HMRC is now giving businesses the opportunity to get up to date and pay the tax they owe by 28 February. Following this, HMRC says it will target these businesses and scrutinise their tax affairs much more closely.


Businesses that come forward voluntarily may receive more favourable terms than if they are approached by HMRC directly.


Commenting, 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 28 February, 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.’


For further information and advice on VAT and your business, please contact us.