The taxman has warned they will target approximately 50,000 companies that have failed to pay their VAT on time meaning their tax affairs will come under the spotlight.

HMRC’s VAT Outstanding Returns Campaign

More than 600,000 businesses currently file their VAT returns on a monthly basis but around 50,000 are to be told that, from 28th February, their tax affairs will come under greater inspection if they still have VAT outstanding.

Some of those businesses will have already received an assessment of VAT for the periods in question.

The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign is aimed at firms that have one or more VAT returns outstanding and have been told that if they have not already submitted their returns they should do so without further delay.

By using HMRC’s new amnesty and coming forward voluntarily, businesses may receive better terms with lower penalties imposed than if HMRC catch them first.

Companies with outstanding VAT returns should submit and bring their VAT affairs up to date before 28th February 2013.

If they fail to do so, HMRC have warned they will use their legal powers to pursue those non-compliant companies.

Failing to submit VAT returns is an offence which can result in default surcharges, penalties of up to 100% of the tax due and even a prison sentence.

If you have outstanding VAT returns to submit or VAT to pay you should take advantage of HMRC’s VAT Outstanding Returns campaign before it is too late.

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