May 21 2014.

It is a requirement for all UK VAT-registered companies to submit and pay VAT returns online but, in a busy, or multi-tasking small office, the due dates can sometimes be missed, resulting in heavy financial penalties.

When businesses enrol for VAT online services they can also arrange to receive free email reminders to let them know when their VAT returns are due. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) strongly recommends signing up for this service as the Revenue won’t automatically send a prompt - the onus is on the registered company to set up its own reminder system.

Companies will need to provide an email address which HMRC will use to send a reminder about six weeks before the return due date.

To receive email reminders, log in to HMRC Online services and take the following steps;

1.Select 'Your Account' from the main menu
2. Select ‘Update personal details’ from the 'Your contact details’ section
3. Select 'Add email address' from the 'VAT messages' section
4. Enter your email address and select ‘Submit’

HMRC will send a confirmation code by email and this should be input online by following steps 1. and 2. above and selecting 'Confirm email address' from the 'VAT messages' section.

For further information on HMRC VAT services CLICK HERE.