Businesses that have failed to submit their VAT returns by the due date will be targeted by HMRC this month. An estimated 50,000 businesses may be affected by this latest campaign by HMRC. Registered traders who have outstanding returns to file may find that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised and without prior warning.
According to HMRC more than 600,000 businesses have to file VAT returns each month and most do so on time. From 28 February, the 50,000 who have not filed on time may find their tax affairs attracting greater attention.
The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign is aimed at businesses that have one or more VAT return outstanding and that have been told to submit their returns but have not done so. Some will have received an assessment of VAT for these periods. These businesses are being given an opportunity to get up to date and pay the tax they owe by 28 February. After this date HMRC will target them and take a much closer look at their tax affairs. If traders do come forward voluntarily they may receive better terms – lower penalties.