The Government is encouraging more firms to fill in tax forms online as it is a fast, convenient and secure way of exchanging information with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
It also cuts down on time, administration and errors, and it means that you’ll get up-to-date PAYE information, such as employee tax codes, almost instantly.
You can submit a range of tax returns to HMRC online including:
2. Corporation Tax
3. PAYE (Pay As You Earn)
4. Self Assessment
The advantages of filing online include:
1. On-screen help and guidance on how to complete the return
2. Your tax is worked out automatically as you complete the form, which means that you know immediately what you owe or are owed
3. Any money owed to you is repaid more quickly than if you file on paper
4. You receive an online acknowledgment when your return has been received
5. Speed - HMRC processes online returns faster than paper returns
6. Safety, security and convenience - you can use the service day and night.
See the HMRC web site for further information on to how use their online services and for details of HMRC and commercial software available for this purpose at www.hmrc.gov.uk/online/
You can call the Online Services Helpdesk for technical help, Tel: 0845 60 55999 (open from 8.00am to 8.00pm, seven days a week).
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SCHEME (CIS)
If you are a contractor, under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), you need to submit monthly returns listing all payments you’ve made to subcontractors. You need to make a monthly CIS return within 14 days of the end of the tax month you’re reporting on - even if there are no subcontractor payments to report. You also need to verify new subcontractors.
You can do both of these things electronically using CIS Online.
You can access CIS Online using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), commercial software or HMRC’s free software. If you are a small contractor using fewer than 50 subcontractors each month, you might opt for HMRC’s free software or their approved commercial software suppliers. There are a number of commercial software packages available that can integrate with your own accounting and payroll systems and you can find out about these on the HMRC web site at www.hmrc.gov.uk/ebu/cis-online.htm
All company tax returns delivered after 31 March 2011 will have to be filed online, for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010. They must be filed in a specified data format (known as Inline XBRL or iXBRL) Companies will be able to file online either through commercially available software or by using HMRC’s own Corporation Tax software, which is aimed at companies with less complex tax affairs. HMRC plans to release their software towards the end of 2009 and are working with software developers on a number of commercial products which will be available from November 2009.
If you have 50 or more employees, you must already send your Employer Annual Return and P45 and P46 forms online.
If you have fewer than 50 employees, Government proposals will require online filing of your Employer Annual Return from 19 May 2010 and online filing of P45 and P46 forms from 6 April 2011.
You can use Self Assessment Online to file a tax return, view statements of account and amend personal data.
The deadline for online returns is 31 January, as opposed to 31 October for paper tax returns, following the end of the tax year. If you want HMRC (where possible) to collect tax owed through your tax code you need to file by 30 December.
HMRC plans to phase out paper VAT returns from April 2010. After that date if your turnover is over £100,000 or if you are newly VAT registered you will have to submit your return online and pay VAT electronically.
The advantages of submitting your VAT returns online include; 1. You may complete your VAT return either online or through an XML channel, using a bespoke or commercial software package
2. You can tell HMRC about changes to your VAT registration details, business address or bank details.
Please be aware that if you send in your VAT return using the online VAT service, you must also make payment electronically using direct debit, BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services) Bank Giro Credit Transfer or CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System).
Whichever method you use you will need to ensure that HMRC will receive payments from your bank or building society on time.
Remember that HMRC has set up its Business Payment Support Service to help any business which faces difficulty paying a tax bill.
If you think you will have a problem paying a tax bill (PAYE, VAT or CIS etc.), then call the HMRC helpline to talk about spreading your payments and avoiding additional penalties or surcharges. You will need to have your tax reference number to hand, details of the tax that you are or will have trouble paying and basic details of your business income and outgoings.
Tel: 0845 302 1435
(Mon-Fri 8.00am-8.00pm, Sat & Sun 8.00am-4.00pm).
If you want to know more about the Government proposals to make labour only subcontractors move from CIS to PAYE then please refer to the article by Liz Bridge in this issue.
Please contact the FMB Information Services Department for further information on any of these issues.
Tel: 020 7242 7583