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HMRC warns businesses on late VAT returns

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Fifty thousand businesses that have one or more VAT return outstanding are being warned that their tax affairs will attract ‘greater attention’ if returns remain outstanding after 28 February.

HMRC launched its ‘VAT outstanding returns campaign’ yesterday. ‘By using this campaign to come forward voluntarily, [businesses] might receive better terms, as any penalty they pay may be lower than if HMRC comes to them first,’ it said.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, said the department would use its legal powers to pursue outstanding returns and any unpaid VAT. ‘Penalties, or even criminal investigation, could follow,’ she said.

Guidance on the campaign is provided on the HMRC website.

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