Agent submission of online VAT returns
As our readers will be aware, HMRC are phasing out the use of paper VAT returns from 1 April 2010. From this date, all VAT registered businesses with a turnover exceeding £100,000 and all newly VAT registered businesses will be required to file VAT returns and make payments online.
Tax agents and advisers will continue to be able to submit returns for their clients, although in most cases this will have to be done online. As always the client will remain legally responsible for the VAT return and for making payment of VAT due.
The VAT for agents online service includes the following key features:
- the option to receive an email reminder to let you know when a client’s VAT Return is due
- the ability to submit a VAT Return online for any open VAT period, not just the current one
- boxes three and five of the return are calculated automatically, helping to reduce errors
- an on-screen acknowledgement that HMRC have received the return which has a unique identifier and can be printed off
- you can submit a client’s final VAT Return (VAT193) online
- the ability to view online, any of your clients’ VAT Returns filed online on or after 23 November 2009 – online returns will be available to view for a period of 15 months after submission
- the facility to submit returns online, either individually or through the XML service
- an online agent authorisation facility – this allows you to set up client authorisations online – your clients will no longer have to enrol for HMRC Online Services before you can act on their behalf
- the ability to apply for VAT registration on behalf of your clients
VAT registered businesses and agents can file VAT returns using HMRC’s free online software or using commercially produced software. In either case, businesses and agents must firstly register and enroll for the VAT Online service in order to submit a VAT Return online.