Tag: VAT

Compulsory submission of VAT returns online

 

From 1 April 2012, all remaining VAT-registered businesses – those registered for VAT before 1 April 2010 with a VAT-exclusive turnover of less than £100,000 – will also have to submit VAT returns online and pay any VAT due electronically.

 

Most of our clients have actually been quite positive about filing returns online as they receive immediate confirmation that the return has been transmitted, it removes the risk of the return being delayed or lost in the post and they get an additional 7 days to file the return. However, the process for setting up your gateway account for this service can be a little confusing especially if you are not particularly experienced with a computer.

 

If you are still submitting VAT Returns on paper, we strongly recommend that you sign up to using the online service before April 2012, so that you have time to get familiar with the new service. If you need advice on what to do to register online or how accounting packages such as Sage can be configured to submit the information for you, please get in touch with your usual contact at Chiks who will be happy to help.

 

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Budget 2012: Could a reduction in VAT rate benefit tourism businesses?

 

Colin Johnson, corporate services director at Chiks, and head of the firm’s leisure and tourism team in Kendal, on the need to support the tourism sector.

 

There have been well publicised calls for the rate of VAT on tourism-related activity to be cut to five per cent in line with many other European countries and I believe this could help UK tourism be much more competitive.

 

The Chancellor has said he’d like to see greater proof that this is a policy that can work, but France has made strong arguments to show that it has been a tax neutral, or even tax beneficial policy because it has given tourism businesses greater willingness to reinvest and create jobs.

 

With diesel prices at a record high, I also think something has to be done to help the Cumbria region, which because of its geography, feels a greater impact from high fuel prices. The Chancellor has intimated that he will go ahead with a 3p increase in fuel duty from August, but I think this again needs to be delayed to help both businesses and employees.

 

We’ve seen many times how a hike in fuel prices can affect the region, particularly in discouraging visitors from further afield. At a time when families are already struggling financially, there’s a real need to help stabilise fuel prices, which are already volatile due to a number of external factors.

 

More generally, I would also like to see an Enterprise Zone for Cumbria because the area has not yet benefited from this initiative, which offers cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

 

Should there be a reduced rate of VAT for tourism related businesses?

 

Tourism and business leaders in our region are calling for the Government to get in line with other EU countries and drastically cut the rate of VAT on the tourism industry.

 

They argue that although every business sector would get a boost from a general cut in VAT, a new rate of 5% for the tourism industry will attract more visitors and incentivise tourism related businesses to invest.

 

Tourism is one of the most significant segments of the local economy and our region is therefore disproportionately affected by this uncompetitive tax rate. With some signs of weakening consumer demand, the sector and the region are amongst the worst affected by current austerity measures and decreasing disposable income.

 

There are currently 21 countries in the EU with a lower VAT rate for the hotel sector and 13 for the overall hospitality sector.  A reduction in the rate of VAT in France for tourism related activities is reported to have led to the creation of 21,700 jobs and many argue that reducing the rate of VAT would actually increase the overall tax take for the exchequer.

 

The British Hospitality Association is one of the groups that are lobbying Government on this topic and further information, including details of how to add your views and support for the change can be found by following the  link.