Compulsory online filing of VAT returns

Government ministers have confirmed that they will make online filing of VAT returns compulsory for all businesses from 2012.

The move follows the introduction of mandatory online filing for newly registered businesses and those turning over more than £100,000 from 1 April 2010.

In the run-up to the March 2010 Budget there were some signals from HMRC that it might bring forward the date for universal filing, but if the government goes ahead with what is expected to be an April 2012 start date, it will match the programme originally laid down by Lord Carter in his 2006 review of HMRC online services.

People who have a conscientious objection to using a computer will be able to continue filing paper returns.

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