Last chance for VAT crooks

VAT RULE breakers have until September 30 to register to pay what they owe under an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) campaign.

The new campaign focuses on individuals and businesses trading over the VAT registration threshold turnover of £73,000 but who have not registered. Target sectors include hair and beauty, hotels and catering, motor vehicle repair, sanitary and domestic services, agriculture and horticulture, property and road haulage.

Those who have not registered to pay VAT can come forward any time up to September 30. If they make a full disclosure, most will face a low penalty rate of 10 per cent on VAT that has been paid late.

Then, with information from different sources, HMRC will investigate those who failed to come forward. Substantial penalties or criminal prosecution could follow.