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Just a quick reminder that, from 1 April 2012, paper VAT returns can no longer be used, and all VAT registered businesses, regardless of size, must file their VAT returns online. This means that periods ending on 31 January, 29 February, or 31 March 2012, whichever applies to your business, will be the very last quarter that can be filed using a paper return. Do not leave this to the last minute. Before you can file online it is necessary to register at HMRC for online filing. As soon as you have sent off your paper return for period ended Jan, Feb or March 2012, you should set up the online registration in readiness for the next return. Here is the URL for the registration screen:
Select the box “submit returns or change details” and if you are required to complete an EC sales list, select that box too. Have your VAT registration certificate and copy of your most recently submitted VAT return to hand. You will be asked to provide information from those documents.
A word of caution for those not familiar with the on screen VAT return – boxes 3 and 5 do not appear on screen, as they are automatically populated. Therefore you need only to enter figures in boxes 1/2/4/6/7/8/9. Do take extra care when completing these boxes, as you run the risk of entering the figures in the wrong boxes if you don’t pay due attention.