VAT returns

In the UK, the submission of VAT returns and payments every three months is a requirement for most businesses. HMRC has established strict deadlines to ensure timely compliance with these obligations.

The deadline for VAT returns and payments, applicable to the accounting period ending 30 April 2023, is rapidly approaching. Submissions must be made no later than 7 June 2023. It is crucial for businesses to be aware of this deadline to fulfill their VAT responsibilities promptly and avoid any potential consequences.

Understanding VAT Returns

To ensure compliance, it is important to include all necessary information in your VAT return, as inaccurate submissions may result in penalties of up to 100 percent imposed by HMRC. When preparing your VAT return, make sure to include the following details:

  1. Company’s total sales and purchases for the quarter.
  2. Amount of VAT owed.
  3. Amount of VAT that can be reclaimed.
  4. Any VAT refund owed from HMRC.

Submission of VAT Returns

VAT returns can only be submitted electronically, except in specific circumstances where objections are raised on religious grounds, due to disability, or in cases where individuals are unable to use computers due to age. In such instances, paper submissions are permitted. All VAT-registered businesses are required to be signed up for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT and should have compatible MTD software in place to file their VAT returns.

If your business does not have compatible MTD software, an alternative method is to use bridging software, which acts as a temporary tool to link your business with HMRC. It is important to note that this software does not maintain digital records, so it is advisable to use it as a short-term solution while you search for suitable MTD software.

Payment Methods

HMRC mandates that all VAT payments be made electronically, offering several payment options. Here are the available methods:

  1. Online payment via internet banking or mobile banking app, as well as payment by debit or corporate credit card, guaranteeing same or next-day payment. This applies to payments made through Faster Payments or CHAPS transfer. Your nine-digit VAT registration number will be required for online payments.
  2. Payment through Direct Debit, standing order, or Bacs bank transfer, which typically takes three working days to process.

Penalties for Late Payments and Returns

Late submissions of VAT returns incur penalties in the form of penalty points. For businesses filing on a quarterly basis, the penalty point threshold is four. Exceeding this threshold will result in HMRC issuing a £200 penalty. However, it is important to note that these penalties do not apply to first or final VAT returns, or one-off returns covering periods other than a month, quarter, or year.

Get in touch

Submitting VAT returns and payments is a straightforward process, but attention to detail is vital to avoid penalties from HMRC. It is essential to submit your VAT returns and payments by the 7th June deadline. If you require further guidance on VAT returns and payments, please contact us today at to seek expert advice.