HMRC launches VAT amnesty

Written by Pete Davison.

A new amnesty campaign targeting businesses trading above the VAT threshold that haven't registered with HM Revenue and Customs has been launched, Marlborough firms are being warned.

Businesses that should have registered for VAT, but have not yet done so, are being urged to come forward and admit their unpaid taxes.

Those who own up will incur a reduced penalty of only 10 percent of the unpaid VAT instead of the normal penalty of up to 100 percent.

Rachel Atkins, of David Owen & Co chartered accountants in Marlborough, explained: “In normal circumstances a business is required to register for VAT if its sales for a 12 month consecutive period exceed the VAT threshold, currently £73,000.

“If you have more than one sole trader business you must include sales from all of the businesses.

“Being VAT registered is often seen as a financial burden, but where your customers are other VAT registered businesses it can help save you money.

“HMRC is currently sending letters to more than 40,000 businesses which, based on information gathered from various sources, it believes to be trading near or over the VAT threshold.

“It has promised that after September 30 it will investigate any businesses that has failed to come forward and will be imposing substantial penalties or even criminal prosecutions.”

For businesses to take advantage of the initiative they must:

a) Register with HM Revenue and Customs, by September 30, their intent to make a disclosure;
b) Inform HM Revenue and Customs of the amount of VAT due and make arrangements to pay it, as well as any penalties due, by December 31

For help and advice with VAT registration and reporting, contact Rachel on 01672 512163 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.