Four fewer days for VAT-registered contractors to file

Contractors whose online VAT return states the due date of April 7th  should transact with HMRC at least three days in advance if they want to settle up with the taxman on time.

In an alert to businesses and their advisors, HM Revenue & Customs suggested Sunday April 3rd would be the last day for VAT-registered taxpayers to ensure they meet the deadline.

Filing the VAT return afterwards, specifically between 7am on April 4th and 6am on April 6th, will not be possible, nor will setting up a Direct Debit or viewing the account online.

Reflecting on the cause – an upgrade to hmrc.gov.uk, the ICAEW said: “Twice a year HMRC makes major upgrades to its software and during this time the system has to be taken off air.

“This raises particular issues for businesses and agents trying to file VAT returns and make payments having taken advantage of the seven days extra allowed when filing online.”

In response, the Revenue says that “no customer will be penalised for a late return due to HMRC systems being unavailable during the period before the April 7 due date.”

The Institute of Chartered Accountants backed the ‘light-touch’ approach, but HMRC still expects VAT returns to be filed “as soon as possible” when its service resumes on April 6th.

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