HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced a new campaign aimed at businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns.
The VAT Outstanding Returns campaign will target up to 50,000 businesses this month with warnings that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised.
HMRC is giving these businesses the chance to get up to date and pay any tax they owe by a deadline of 28 February. After this date, the Revenue will target them and look at their tax affairs more closely.
Those that use the campaign to come forward voluntarily, before the February deadline, “could receive better terms”, according to a press release from the Revenue. “Any penalty they pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to them first.”
To participate in the campaign, people can:
-complete and pay any outstanding VAT returns immediately
-tell HMRC if they’re no longer trading or have changed their business details
This is not the first time HMRC has launched a campaign to provide opportunities for people to voluntarily put their tax affairs in order. HMRC Campaigns have raised over £545 million so far from voluntary disclosures and almost £140 million more from follow-up activity.
Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns said “HMRC will use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any VAT that is unpaid” if the deadline is missed.
“Penalties or even criminal investigation could follow”.
For further information on this campaign, visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/campaigns/vator.htm