HMRC has recently announced a VAT campaign to try and bring all VAT registered business into full compliance.
All businesses have until the end of February to bring all their outstanding VAT Returns up to date, or to register for VAT if they exceed the registration threshold of £77,000 in taxable sales over the previous 12 months.
The tone of the campaign suggests very strongly that HMRC will target businesses that remain non-complaint after this date, as they will be increasing their risk factors by the failure to comply with their existing obligations.
If you have any outstanding VAT Returns, then you should arrange to file them – irrespective of whether you can afford to pay the VAT due – to reduce your profile and to then arrange payment terms with HMRC.
It should not be assumed that businesses that are constantly in repayment can ignore the campaign either, as undoubtedly some of these will be subject to compliance checks as a matter of course.
After the campaign, it is unlikely that taxpayers such as the crofter for whom we once did 24 repayment Returns at one time, will be allowed to get in such arrears with their affairs.