HMRC Campaign on Late VAT Returns

Up to 50,000 businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns will be targeted by HM Revenue and Customs this month – with the taxman warning that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised: in HMRC’ latest Tax Disclosure Campaign.

More than 600,000 businesses have to submit VAT returns each month.  Most do so on time. But in a new HMRC Tax Disclosure Campaign as many as 50,000 will be warned that, from 28 February 2013, their tax affairs will come under enquiry from the tax investigators.

The VAT Outstanding Return Campaign is aimed at businesses that: have 1 or more VAT returns outstanding; and have been warned to file their returns – but have not done so.  Some may have received an estimated VAT assessment for those periods.  These businesses are being given a chance to get up to date, and pay the tax they owe by 28 February.  After that, the tax inspectors will target them and take a much closer look at their tax affairs.  HMRC say that “by using this campaign to come forward voluntarily, they might receive better terms, as any penalty they pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to them first. After 28 February HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any VAT that is unpaid. Penalties, or even criminal investigation, could follow.“

People can take part in the campaign by: completing and paying any outstanding VAT returns immediately; or by telling HMRC if they have stopped trading, or have changed their business details.

The taxman claims that nearly £540 million has been raised by HMRC from its various Tax Disclosure Campaigns, and a further £137 million from follow-up investigation activity. Campaigns launched so far have targeted offshore investments (e.g. Swiss bank accounts; medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters, coaches and tutors, electricians, online traders, higher rate taxpayers with outstanding returns, and direct sellers.

How can Lynam Tax Investigation Experts help me?
Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax investigations and tax enquiries.    We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997 or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710