On cessation, a trader must notify HMRC that he has ceased to trade, so that his registration can be cancelled. He will be issued with a special return covering the period up to the date of de-registration, which must usually be submitted to HMRC within one month of the date of the cancellation of his registration (reg. 25(4)).
All returns must be signed by the trader to declare that they are true and complete and must not be qualified in any way. If a return is qualified, it is not valid. In DK Wright & Associates Ltd (1975) 1 BVC 1,044, the appellant company was in dispute with Customs over the deduction of input tax in respect of subsistence allowances paid to its employees. Since the matter was not resolved at the time it made its next return, the company submitted the return, subject to reserved claims for deduction for input tax on subsistence claims. The tribunal, in holding that the return was not valid said that:-
‘The whole of the management and administration of the tax would be thrown into chaos if registered persons were to be allowed to qualify their returns as the company has sought to do in this case. Each return must, in our view, be unqualified…’