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VAT submissions

Does the existing penalty regime apply to late vat returns in view of current situation

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Morning All

Not actually a question, just wanted to share what HMRC have just told me.

I rang the VAT helpline early this morning (wanted to get in before it gets jammed!).  As the VAT payments are to be deferred, I asked if the VAT submissions have to be made as usual bearing in mind the circumstances.  I'm told that yes, absolutely we still have to submit in time or the penalty system will apply.

I explained that I work from home and travel to client's premises, or they drop off their paperwork.  I'm talking about shops, engineering companies, businesses that generate large volumes of paperwork that wouldn't be practical to scan (some old school clients also).  I also asked about one specific client that is very ill with lung cancer and the business is run from her home.  No leniancy at all, am told expect a surcharge and you can appeal it.

I can arrange to collect or have dropped off paperwork where possible in a suitable manner but it's not going to work for every client.  I'm really surprised they are taking this attitude but just wanted to let you know what to expect.


Replies (6)

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By lionofludesch
23rd Mar 2020 09:22

Whether it's reasonable will depend on what turns out to be an acceptable excuse.

Making a rod for their own backs here as I can see an unprecedented number of appeals ahead.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By susieq
23rd Mar 2020 11:11

At least the appeals will be short. One word. Coronavirus.

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By jjswjjsw
23rd Mar 2020 11:06

I predominantly work on site although with access to paperwork could move c. 50% of Clients work home. I’ve emailed my MP about this as I feel it’s forcing additional journeys and interaction.

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By TeYoo
23rd Mar 2020 13:19

There is no actual surcharges for late submissions, only for late payments.
But for at least for 3 months-ish (?) there are no late payments, and you don't even have to tell HMRC. I presume you may still get a letter saying you're in the default period for 12 months though. (Unless they re-write the rules on this too.)

As I said on the other thread ...
Re "Will I still have to submit on time" - if a business' staff are sick or self-isolating, particularly in a small firm where it may just be the one person who does the accounts, this might be problematic to achieve ...

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By youngloch
23rd Mar 2020 18:04

We've all just got to take a deep breath and do the best we can in the circumstances.

Based on the phone calls and emails we have all no doubt had to endure in the last week or so we also need to take care of ourselves as well.

HMRC have their rules - but we have our mental and physical health to think about too.

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By Ash Business Consultants
23rd Mar 2020 18:57

They may issue the penalties but I expect they are going to be forced to change their tune, we are likely to be on full lock down including accountants, so businesses will not be trading, will not have access to their premises or offices and the current situation is only going to get worse in a few weeks and last for many months. It's also going to be practially impossible for HMRC to deny anyone the reasonable excuse that they fell ill with COVID - 19 as many will even within HMRC themselves. The majority of cases don't lead to hospitalisation but they do put you into bed for a week or two, and how exactly are they going to be able to say you weren't ill.

No they will be back pedaling on this I'm almost certain.

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