In a remarkable burst of penny-pinching, HMRC have announced that they are no longer issuing pre-paid envelopes with VAT returns. They will still enclose an addressed envelope, but it will be up to the taxpayer to put a stamp on the envelope. They have not commented on whether an unstamped envelope will be put to one side, and therefore be dealt with as a late arrival, but I guess there is a possibility that it might count as a ‘default’.

In a similar vein, they have also announced that VAT returns will no longer be input manually, but instead will be scanned and input automatically. This, of course, is dependent on the taxpayer writing neatly in all the relevant boxes. For those of you who submit repayment VAT returns, please be aware that if the machine can’t read your writing, it will doubtless mean that your refund will be delayed. You have been warned…

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