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VAT online downtime

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HMRC’s VAT online service will be unavailable between 7am on Monday 4 April and 6am on Wednesday 6 April, HMRC announced last week. Taxpayers will not be able to file VAT returns, set up direct debits or view accounts online.

HMRC apologised and promised to adopt a ‘light touch’ approach to penalties for late filing or late payment.

HMRC said: ‘If your online VAT return has a due date of 7 April, HMRC strongly recommends that your VAT return is submitted before 4 April to ensure you meet this date. If this is not possible, then you should submit your return as soon as possible when the service resumes on 6 April.

‘If you are a day or two late because you are unable to access our system, and you cannot submit by 7 April, during this period of unavailability HMRC will adopt a light touch approach. This means that no customer will be penalised for a late return or direct debit payment if this is due to HMRC systems being unavailable during the period before the 7 April due date.’

Earlier this month HMRC announced that HMRC online services will be unavailable from Saturday 2 April until 6am on Wednesday 6 April, to allow for IT upgrades.

‘All services will be affected including Corporation Tax, Self Assessment, PAYE and VAT. Detailed information on timings will be confirmed,’ HMRC said on 11 March.

More information is available via HMRC’s Service Availability pages.