Highlights from the broader tax news for the week ending 18 October 2023, including: applying to join the VAT flat rate scheme; self assessment scam warning; and stopping self assessment.

Businesses can now apply online to join VAT flat rate scheme

HMRC has launched an online form for businesses to apply to join the VAT flat rate scheme (FRS). The FRS is a scheme that simplifies VAT accounting for businesses with an annual turnover of no more than £150,000. More detail on the FRS can be found here, but it should be noted that the section ‘applying for the scheme’ has not yet been updated to reflect the launch of the new online form.

HMRC issues scam warning for self assessment tax payers

HMRC received more than 130,000 reports about tax scams in the 12 months to September 2023, of which 58,000 were offering fake tax rebates. HMRC has warned taxpayers to be vigilant if they receive texts, emails and phone calls offering rebates, requesting an update of their details, or threating immediate arrest for tax evasion. Read more.

Stopping self assessment

If a taxpayer thinks that they no longer need to complete a self assessment return for the 2022/23 tax year, they must take action before 31 January 2024 filing deadline to avoid being charged a penalty. HMRC has produced two YouTube videos explaining the online process for taxpayers to stop self assessment:


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