The initiative applies only for VAT returns due on or after 31 May 2000. The extra seven days, however, only applies to VAT return payments and not to other VAT payments, such as assessments or underdeclarations.
Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo said: ‘Electronic payment means businesses improve their cashflow because they can time payment precisely, thus aiding their financial planning. There is greater certainty that payments are made on time, reducing possible liability to penalties, and credit transfer is a more secure method of payment.’
Customs is also currently trying electronic filing of VAT returns so that companies can submit their forms from early in 2001.
‘Businesses can already retrieve a wide amount of VAT guidance from the website 24 hours a day. We are delivering a tax system to meet the current and future needs of business,’ added Primarolo.
If VAT returns and electronic payment are not received on or before the extra seventh day, companies may be liable to default surcharges.
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