THE clock is ticking for firms in Huntingdonshire that are affected by new online filing requirements for VAT returns.

THE clock is ticking for firms in Huntingdonshire that are affected by new online filing requirements for VAT returns.

Under the new rules, existing VAT-registered businesses with annual turnovers of £100,000 or more (excluding VAT), and any businesses which registered for VAT from April 2010, now have to file their VAT returns online and pay their VAT electronically.

The vast majority of traders file their VAT returns quarterly, and the first quarterly returns affected by the changes are those covering April to June 2010, which - for most online filing customers - must be filed online by August 7.

Stephen Banyard, director of HM Revenue & Customs' business customer unit, said: "The vast majority of customers affected by the new arrangements have already enrolled for HMRC's VAT Online service, and many have also filed their first returns online.

"However, if you're a VAT-registered trader who's affected by these changes and you haven't yet signed up, you need to take action now."

INFORMATION: Firms wishing to sign up for the VAT Online service should go to the HMRC website - www.online.hmrc.gov.uk/registration.htm - and follow the instructions on the screen. More about the registration process, including an online demonstrator and two downloadable beginner's guides, is on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/vat-online/index.htm