Firms face penalties if not online VAT compliant

London, 6 December 2017 - HMRC is expecting all firms to keep their records electronically and file VAT returns digitally or face penalties. The ruling is part of the Government’s drive to Make Tax Digital (MTD). MTD will apply to all firms who are registered to pay VAT or those who ought to be registered.

It is vital that businesses ensure there is sufficient budget for IT and administration costs in 2018, ahead of the incoming changes; which come into effect from 01 April 2019, just hours after Brexit occurs.

Digital records that contribute to VAT returns, such as spreadsheets, will need to be made compatible with MTD software. It is also important for firms to make sure that all their sales and purchase accounting systems can record the minimum information required at the very least.

It is also likely that once the MTD system is in place, that the scope of data required will be increased.

HMRC is not providing software to help with VAT filing, as it expects the market to create a solution. As yet however, HMRC has still not started talking to software providers to start to deal with the issue.

VAT is just one of the areas discussed in depth at the FiscalReps Indirect Tax Academy 2017. Now in its twelfth year, the Academy had a record number of attendees keen to hear more about topics including TAXBOX2® – FiscalReps’ new and updated tax portal, the changes to tax evasion rules and how Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is currently being dealt with in the UK and across Europe.

FiscalReps was recently acquired by Sovos, the global leaders in tax compliance, and Peter Russell-Smith, European CEO of Sovos, spoke at the event: “Tax avoidance has become a public issue”, he explained, “It is vital that firms take an intelligent approach to dealing with all of their potential tax liabilities”.

Mike Stalley, Founder of FiscalReps, said: “The incoming changes to VAT are just one of the important areas that insurers need to be aware of and to prepare for. We are delighted to have hosted our twelfth Indirect Tax Academy and had so many of our international clients attend. The event is always popular due to the depth of topics covered and clients appreciated being able to hear directly from Sovos about their business and strategies, and how FiscalReps complements and develops their long term aims.”