Businesses that meet the new rules for online VAT filing are being sent letters by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) informing them of the changes.
Under the new rules, businesses that have an annual turnover exclusive of VAT of £100,000 or more, and all businesses newly registered for VAT on or after 1 April 2010, no matter their turnover, will need to submit their returns and payments electronically as from 1 April 2010.
Once a business has to file online, it must carry on doing so even if its annual turnover dips below the £100,000 mark later on. The requirement to file electronically will also cover any nil and repayment returns.
For those businesses that do not fall into either category, the option to submit paper returns and to make payments by post stays in place, although the arrangement is to be looked at again between now and 2012.
New businesses without a full year’s VAT history may be told that they will have to submit online if HMRC calculates that their turnover will be more than £100,000. This means that some businesses which have not yet reached the £100,000 turnover threshold could still be told to file electronically.