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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Firms warned over looming VAT deadline

Colin Corder
Colin Corder, VAT manager at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors

Businesses are risking costly investigations if they don’t put their tax affairs in order by the end of the month, according to a Cumbrian tax expert.

HMRC recently announced it is beginning a campaign to encourage businesses that have outstanding VAT payments to submit them.

It has given companies until February 28 to submit any outstanding VAT returns and warned those still owing VAT after this date that their tax affairs will receive closer attention from inspectors.

Colin Corder, VAT manager at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, based in Kendal, said businesses needed to act now to avoid penalties, as well costly and disruptive visits from the tax man.

He said: “HMRC is able to compare information from various sources and will target businesses that should have sent in a return but have failed to do so. The revenue has legal powers to take a detailed look at the financial affairs of businesses and their owners.”

Mr Cordor, a former tax inspector himself, added: “If you are found to owe VAT you may face higher penalties than if you come forward voluntarily and you may even face a criminal investigation. When a return is not received, HMRC will estimate what you owe, and so you might pay more than is actually due.

“I would urge all businesses to act now to ensure they don’t have any outstanding returns as there is only a small window of opportunity to get them completed and submitted to HMRC. We can assist businesses with all VAT compliance issues, including the completion of VAT returns and assisting with the submission of time to pay proposals.”

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