By Daniel Hunter

All VAT-registered businesses in the UK will now have to submit their VAT returns online, and pay electronically, for periods starting on or after 1 April 2012.

Previously, only newly-registered businesses and those with turnovers of more than £100,000 had to submit their VAT online, as well as pay electronically. Anyone else could send HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) a paper VAT return, but this will no longer be an option.

To submit your VAT return online, you will need to register and enrol for HMRC’s VAT Online Service. If you haven’t done so already, you need to take action now. To register, www.online.hmrc.gov.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">visit www.online.hmrc.gov.uk, click “Register” under the “New user” section and follow the instructions.

Online filing has a number of benefits, compared to paper filing:

- an automatic acknowledgement that your return has been received;
- a handy sum checker; and
- an email alert to remind you when your next online return is due.

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