VAT-registered businesses are being urged to take note of coming changes to the rules on filing returns, Huntingdon accountants Haines Watts say. From April 1, 2010, businesses with an annual turnover of more than £100,000 (excluding VAT) will need to hav

VAT-registered businesses are being urged to take note of coming changes to the rules on filing returns, Huntingdon accountants Haines Watts say.

From April 1, 2010, businesses with an annual turnover of more than £100,000 (excluding VAT) will need to have their VAT returns filed online, and payments made electronically, for accounting periods beginning on or after that date.

Meanwhile, businesses with an effective VAT registration date on or after April 1, 2010 will need to have returns filed and payments made online, regardless of their turnover.

The remaining VAT-registered businesses may continue to have paper returns filed for the time being, but the situation is set to be reviewed by 2012.

HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed it will be mailing formal letters in February to all existing companies affected by the changes.

HMRC's Stephen Banyard said: "If your turnover is £100,000 or more, and you're not already filing your VAT return online, sign up now for VAT online services - that way, you'll avoid a last-minute rush, and be able to enjoy the benefits of online filing sooner rather than later."

Penalties for failing to make an electronic return will be applied to periods ending on or after March 31, 2011.