UK cannot compel online VAT returns

Tue 8th Oct 2013

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.