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HMRC issues VAT registration letters to boost compliance

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 08 Mar 2021

HMRC is this month writing to businesses it believes are not registered for VAT, despite exceeding the £85,000 threshold. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty outlines what businesses can expect.

As part of its compliance activity, HMRC is writing to businesses asking them to check whether they need to register for VAT and to take action accordingly. 

Letters are being sent to businesses where HMRC holds information indicating that turnover has exceeded the VAT-registration threshold of £85,000. 

Recipients must either register for VAT or let HMRC know if they don’t believe registration is applicable, to ensure they are excluded from any follow up action. 

The letter also includes details of how to confirm that a business has already registered for VAT, as a recent spike in new registration applications post the end of the transition period is causing processing delays

Those businesses that discover they are liable are instructed to register on GOV.UK and to note that they can apply for a time-to-pay arrangement for any VAT outstanding.

HMRC has asked businesses to share a copy of the letter with their accountant or tax agent and in future campaigns of this type HMRC is working to send copies direct to agents where they can be identified. 

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