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Businesses warned on late VAT

HMRC has said it plans to warn as many as 50,000 businesses that have failed to submit VAT returns this month.

Due to the failure to update the Revenue on its VAT affairs, the business in question will be warned that it faces having its tax affairs closely scrutinised in the future.

It is currently estimated that more than 600,000 businesses have to put in VAT returns each month but from 28 February this year, those who are failing to meet the deadlines will attract greater attention to their tax affairs.

The VAT Outstanding Return campaign is aimed at businesses that have one or more VAT returns outstanding and have been reminded but still failed to submit them. These businesses are being given the opportunity to get up to date and pay the tax they owe by the end of February or face having their affairs targeted further. Any penalty they may face before 28 February is more likely to be less than if they let matters go unattended.

Head of HMRC Campaigns, Marian Wilson, warned that 'time is running out' and that HMRC would use 'its legal powers' to pursue any unpaid VAT. 'Penalties or even criminal investigation could follow'.

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