Firms urged to sign up early for new online VAT rules

Businesses are being reminded that new regulations governing the filing of VAT returns and the payment of VAT liabilities are to come into effect next year.

Firms with a VAT turnover of less than £100,000 annually and that registered for VAT before 1 April 2010 must submit their returns online and make payments electronically as from April 2012.

Effectively, this means that almost all VAT registered businesses will meet the legal requirements to file online next year.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging businesses that still use paper returns to get ready for the change and to sign up for electronic filing in 2011, well ahead of the switch.