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VAT Payments - Don't Get Caught Short!

23 March 2010

With effect from 1st April 2010 any cheques received by HMRC for VAT payments will be treated as 'made' when the funds have been received and cleared by the department (not when the cheque was received). HMRC suggest allowing 3 working days for the post followed by 3 working days for the cheque to clear. To be safe it might be better to consider alternative payment methods such as BACS, Direct Debit or CHAPS.

The change coincides with the introduction of mandatory electronic filing and payments for most businesses.  There is a gap between the old paper returns and the new online returns which may trip some companies up.

VAT accounting periods commencing on or after 1st April must follow the new mandatory online process.  If your VAT quarter ends on 31st March, 30th April or 31st May your return for that period is not affected by the mandatory online filing rules and can be filed on paper.  However the returns and cheque filing dates are 30th April, 31st May and 30 June respectively thus will be affected by the new payment rules.

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