HMRC are of the opinion that there are a number of businesses that should be registered for VAT, and so far, they have not registered.
They are in the process of sending out 40,000 letters to traders who they believe may be in this category.
HMRC are offering businesses that “come clean” and notify HMRC of an intention to register before the end of September 2011, reduced or nil penalties. Subsequently formal applications have to be submitted on VAT form 1 before 31 December 2011.
The current VAT registration threshold is £73,000. If you have already passed this annual limit in the last twelve months, are about to, or expect to in the next 30 days, you might like to respond to this offer.
Penalties for late registration can be up to 100% of additional VAT due.
They have set up yet another specialist task force to tackle this avoidance.
Penalties will be levied in addition to recovery of unpaid taxes. Those businesses discovered may also face criminal prosecution.