Upon turning into a vat registered trader you will need to file regular vat returns and you should definitely embrace convenience and safety by filing your vat return online. Most vat departments in the European Union including the UK encourage vat registered traders to file their returns online in a bid to do away with paper returns.
If you had applied for vat registration on or after April 1, 2010 then you would have to anyway file vat returns online irrespective of your turnover. However, if you have registered before that date then you would need to file online returns only after your taxable sales touch £100,000 excluding vat. Until then you would be allowed to manually file your vat returns. However, you would still have an option to file your returns online if you do wish to do so.
The vat return form has several boxes that all need to be filled up depending on the vat accounting scheme that you have chosen. The frequency of your returns will also depend on your turnover and accounting scheme although most dealers fall in the quarterly returns section. Your vat return will inform HM Revenue and Customs or hmrc vat department that looks after vat matters in the UK, all about the vat collected and paid within the specified period. This data includes the amount of vat that you have charged to your clients and the amount that you need to pay to hmrc or claim back from hmrc depending on your vat purchases. In case you have imported goods into the UK or sold goods outside the UK then those amounts also need to be summarized in your vat return.
You will also need to mention your vat number in your vat return while also mentioning it in each vat invoice and vat refund application too. Before you can file your vat return online or authorize your vat agent to do so on your behalf, you will first need to register for vat online services at the hmrc website while also mentioning if your vat agent will be filing the vat returns on your behalf. Once you get the proper authorization then you will now be able to save time, money and effort by simply filing your returns online and also by using other online services offered by hmrc. You can now focus on running your business instead of worrying about delayed or lost vat returns or wasting precious time in filling out vat returns on paper.
Most other eu countries including Sweden, Germany, etc already accept electronic vat returns and other countries too are trying hard to eliminate paper returns. You should certainly opt for online returns since it offers convenience since your vat agent can now file your return on a 24/7 basis. The returns will also remain safe since you will be operating in a secured hmrc website. You can also use a number of options while paying the difference in vat to hmrc, such as direct debit, online banking, phone banking, etc.
You need not be a computer or internet expert if you want to shift over to online filing of vat returns. Hmrc allows you to use dial up connections too and you can now easily embrace convenience and safety by filing your vat return online without worrying about whether your returns are delayed or lost in transit.