HMRC has published the latest quarterly edition of VAT notes which includes a summary of recent changes and important notices pertaining to VAT. The main topics covered in this latest edition are as follows:
- Payments by cheque – Since 1 April 2010 most businesses are required to submit VAT returns and make payments electronically. However, businesses that continue to make payments by cheque are reminded that the cheque will not be treated as received until cleared funds reach HMRC’s bank account.
- VAT return reminders – Businesses that wish to be sent an email reminder can register using the VAT online service.
- Insurance Brokers – Following a recent Court of Appeal decision, HMRC now accept that insurance introductory services will be exempt from VAT when a provider is doing much more than acting as a ‘mere conduit’ through which a potential customer is passed to a provider. Businesses that may be affected by this decision can make claims for overpaid VAT subject to the usual rules.
- Private use of business assets – From 1 January 2011 VAT recovery on the purchase of assets will be restricted only to the business use of the asset and the ‘lennartz’ accounting rules will be withdrawn.
- Charitable buildings – There have been changes to the guidance relevant to the construction and acquisition of charitable buildings.
- VAT publications – The VAT notes also include a useful list of new and revised VAT publications.