On Tuesday 7th April 2020 HMRC published an update which confirms the rumours which have been circulating. The “soft landing” period has been extended and will now end for VAT return periods starting on or after 1 April 2021 instead of 1 April 2020. Although not explicitly stated, it is understood that this is to ease the pressure on businesses struggling with issues compounded by the COVID-19 measures.
It should however be noted that soft landing was only ever intended to cover the digital links between software programs and digital records. The measure was never intended to cover non-compliance with MTD, such as failing to register for MTD, failing to keep the requisite records in a digital form and failing to submit VAT returns via digital means.
This latest move to ease the burden on businesses follows on from earlier measures implemented by HMRC to allow businesses to defer VAT payments due to be made in the period 20th March to 30th June 2020, and to relieve import duty and import VAT on medical supplies, equipment and protective garments in particular circumstances, details of which can be found via the following links.
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