Generally, instead of completing paper VAT returns, persons must submit electronic VAT returns (‘e-VAT returns’), i.e. VAT returns using approved forms of electronic communications (which includes online using the internet; FA 1999, s. 132 and 133; Value Added Tax Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/2518), reg. 4A and 25A; the ‘electronic communications system’ and the ‘electronic return system’ as approved by HMRC rather than the ‘paper return system’).

The electronic communications system incorporates an electronic validation process.

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