VAT - 29.11.2012

Useful online VAT services

Until now, the Taxman’s online VAT services have been basic, but he’s recently added some genuinely useful tools. What’s to know?

Online functions. The Taxman has recently made some welcome additions to his VAT online services. While these aren’t the sort of functions you’ll need on a day-to-day basis they will simplify, and more importantly speed up, some of his application and notification procedures which until now have been notoriously slow.

What’s on offer? The following actions can now be completed entirely online:

  • changing your business and trading names
  • amending your “principal place of business” address
  • adding or amending business contact details - telephone number, e-mail address and website address
  • notifying a change of bank account details
  • amending the period (quarters) your VAT return covers
  • applying to use the annual accounting or flat rate schemes
  • cancelling or applying for a VAT registration
  • viewing or printing your VAT registration certificate
  • attaching files, e.g. a scanned PDF document, to applications etc.

Tip. You can nominate your accountant, or anyone else, to help complete a registration and use some of the other functions listed above. This means you can fill in the information, but get your advisor to check it over before you release it to the Taxman.

Using the services. As long as you’re enrolled for the VAT online services you’ll have automatic access to the new functions (see The next step). But where you want your accountant to use these on your behalf you’ll have to give written authority to the Taxman first. Well, that’s the strict position, but of course if time is short you can always provide your accountant with your login details for immediate access.

The next step

You can now amend basic details online, e.g. your trading name and address, plus apply to use the annual accounting and flat rate schemes etc. Your accountant can also access these tools on your behalf.

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