Upcoming VAT deadlines and what businesses should be doing to prepare for them

January 11, 2024

Businesses must remain cautious in their tax affairs, especially with the looming deadlines for various tax obligations and HMRC’s intensified focus on VAT compliance.

HMRC’s efforts to maximise tax revenues have intensified, with over 3,000 staff added to its customer compliance units since 2021/22.

This expansion allows HMRC to open and investigate more cases of unpaid VAT. The estimated tax gap for VAT was £8.8 billion in the 2022-23 tax year, up from £7.6 billion in 2021-22.

Upcoming deadlines

22 January 2024

  • Deadline for electronic remittance of PAYE, NICs and CIS to HMRC.

31 January 2024

  • Paying Self-Assessment balancing payment and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for the tax year ended 5 April 2023.
  • The first payment on Self-Assessment account for 2022/23.
  • Final online deadline for Self-Assessment tax return.
  • Filing of accounts with Companies House for accounting periods ended 30 April 2023.
  • Corporation Tax returns due for accounting periods ended 31 January 2023.

Strategies for businesses

VAT is complex, with varying rates and liabilities across different tax jurisdictions, so businesses must be fully aware and understand their obligations to increase the chances of avoiding errors.

Automated systems can reduce the likelihood of errors and ensure compliance with various tax rates and regulations.

Conduct regular internal reviews and audits to ensure VAT records are accurate and up to date. This proactive approach can identify and rectify discrepancies before they attract HMRC’s attention.

Stay informed on changes

Businesses should make sure they keep up to date with changes in VAT legislation, especially with the impending implementation of e-invoicing rules from 2024 in the EU.

These changes will require businesses to issue, deliver, and receive electronic invoices, facilitating easier detection of underpayments by tax authorities.

Plan for deadlines

Mark all relevant tax deadlines in your calendar and plan accordingly. Ensure that all necessary documents and payments are prepared well in advance to avoid last-minute rushes and potential errors.

Engage with HMRC

If uncertainties or issues arise, engage proactively with HMRC. Open communication can often lead to more favourable outcomes than avoidance or delayed responses.

Our expert team of accountants have a deep understanding and experience of handling VAT returns and ensuring that our clients are kept informed. If you would like more guidance on how to implement your VAT payment strategies, please contact us today.

Further reading

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