Paper notifications for vehicles brought into UK

Published on 20 December 2011

We welcome the HMRC announcement on 6 December 2011, that there will be a paper alternative to the mandatory online channel for notifying road vehicles entering the UK. At the same time we question why HMRC is to make it mandatory for VAT returns to be filed online, but rules out providing any paper alternative.

To see the text of HMRC’s announcement please use the link.

In the context of our views on the wider ‘Digital by Default’ strategy – that digital is the default option, not the only one - we have criticised HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for proposing to make it compulsory to file VAT returns online without any exceptions written into law.

We now welcome the fact that, in relation to the joint HMRC/DVLC consultation on ‘Tackling VAT evasion on road vehicles brought into the UK’, HMRC have reconsidered their initial proposal to make online notification mandatory. We feel that this recognises the difficulties faced by groups who may not have immediate access to an online system upon arrival in the UK and those who would be at a disadvantage and, possibly open to security issues, if they were forced to use a “public” networked system as a result of mandation to an online channel.

We also welcome the continuation of paper channels of communication with HMRC which LITRG had specifically petitioned for in our response to the consultation. This will mean that customers, particularly those with disabilities, will not be disadvantaged by the new system.

However, we question why HMRC has failed to align its digital strategy not only across tax regimes but also within the VAT regime itself.

(20-12-2011)

Contact: Robin Williamson (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)