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From April 1 st 2010, any VAT registered company with an annual turnover of more than £100,000 will have to file their returns online and pay VAT electronically. The same will apply for any newly VAT registered company too. Any company registered before April 1 st 2010 which falls below the £100,000 threshold can still opt for paper returns, though this will be subject to review in 2012.

Many companies have already been completing returns online voluntarily and the process has its advantages. For example, online returns can’t be held up by postal delays and the submission system provides plenty of on-screen information to help ensure that you’re completing everything correctly.

Penalties will apply for companies failing to file online, though HMRC has said it will be lenient during the first year, as businesses adjust to the change in procedures.

North West based accountancy group, Champion, advises that companies should register for online filing as soon as possible.

Champion has been providing accountancy and business advisory services to businesses for over 30 years and now has offices in Manchester, Preston, Blackpool, Southport and Chester, each acting as trusted advisor to some of the UK’s brightest businesses. For more information, visit