Taxman announces changes to CGT, VAT

Changes are afoot at HM Revenue & Customs for taxpayers who apply VAT and for those who are affected by capital gains tax if they are members of partnerships.

In a recent update, HMRC says it is pressing ahead with Lord Carter's recommendation that the main business tax returns should be submitted online by 2012.

To this end, the tax authority plans to phase out the use of paper VAT returns from April 1 2010, and is running nationwide events to help taxpayers make the change.

From the date, business with an annual turnover of £100,000 or more excluding VAT, and all newly registered VAT businesses, will be required to file their VAT return online.

HMRC said paper returns would still be an option for the remaining VAT registered businesses, but cautioned that this choice would be reviewed in the run up to 2012.

Elsewhere, the taxman has rewritten its guidance on capital gains tax where it applies to members of partnerships – a structure which has become more popular in recent years.

The updated rules cover several issues on when capital gains tax applies, notably where partners introduce assets that they already own and where corporate members are involved.

Tax experts at Baker Tilly say it is probable that simplification to the capital gains tax regime will emerge in the Pre-Budget Report, due to be unveiled in late November or December.