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UK cannot compel online VAT returns

  • VAT
  • 08 October 2013 | Richard Asquith

UK cannot compel online VAT returns

The UK’s tax authority, HMRC, has been dealt a blow in its efforts to move UK VAT online.  The First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTT) has ruled that it is discriminatory to force all businesses to submit their VAT returns online.

Online VAT returns breach EU law

The FTT found that such a rule breached businesses and individual human rights, and were in contravention of EU laws for those without fast internet access of the disabled.

The UK required all small businesses to move to online VAT filings from April 2012.  Larger businesses, with an annual turnover about £100,000 per annum had been compelled to go online in 2010.

The case raised questions for not only the UK, but also tax authorities across the European Union.  Most now provide an online filings options.  However, an increasing number such as Germany now also make online VAT filings mandatory.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.