New drive for online VAT registrations

COMPANIES WILL SOON will soon be required to register for VAT online and file their Companies House returns the same way in efforts to reduce the paper mountain for the government.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, made the announcement as the government launched a fresh drive to get more of its business online, the FT reported.

The moves are part of a renewed “digital by default” strategy launched more than a decade after Tony Blair’s government pushed for more of operations to be done electronically.

Tax chiefs at the CIoT welcomed the government’s desire to improve the delivery of online services, especially those for submitting tax returns, but warned that current government practice is making it harder for people to find information they need online.

John Whiting, CIoT tax policy director, said: “Providing taxpayers and agents with adequate, accessible information and reliable services will help taxpayers and HMRC alike, helping both to work more efficiently and increasing compliance.

“However this is contrary to what is happening at the moment, where tax information that used to be available all in one place is fragmenting across three websites – HMRC, Business Link, and DirectGov, making it harder for taxpayers and agents to find the information they need.

“Tax information needs to be available in one place and systems need to work 100% of the time.”


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