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HMRC contacts agents regarding closure of online VAT returns

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Published: 13 Oct 2022 Update History

HMRC confirms that businesses trading under the VAT registration threshold will retain access to online VAT return for a short period.

Further to the announcement that HMRC will be closing the online VAT return with effect from 1 November, HMRC has contacted agents with further details of the closure.

The bulk email sent to agents confirms that the online VAT return will close on 1 November for most businesses filing VAT returns quarterly or monthly. However, HMRC has announced that businesses with a taxable turnover of less than £85,000 per annum can continue to use their VAT online account for a limited period to file VAT returns due on 7 November.

This is a welcome concession as these businesses have only been subject to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT rules since this April. It will effectively give taxpayers between one and three additional months to register for MTD.

Unless exempt from MTD, businesses that have not yet registered for MTD should follow these steps now:

  1. Choose (or build) MTD-compatible software.
  2. Keep digital records for current and future VAT returns.
  3. Sign up for MTD and file future VAT returns using MTD-compatible software

It is also possible for businesses to appoint an agent to act on their behalf and file MTD VAT returns (although this will still require the business to sign up for MTD).

HMRC’s email reconfirms that:

  • businesses filing VAT returns annually will be able to use their VAT online account to file VAT returns until 15 May 2023; and
  • businesses can apply for exemption from MTD on gov.uk.
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