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HMRC internal manual

Securities Guidance

Security for tax at risk of being unpaid: monitoring compliance: reverting to quarterly returns

In VAT/environmental tax cases a person may ask to be put back on quarterly returns, or you may decide that monthly returns are no longer required.

Treat each case on its merits. Is the person compliant? Does the person still represent a risk to the revenue?

Before changing the frequency of returns check for any user interests and liaise with those interested officers to ensure that they are aware of the changes that you intend to make.

The officer who changes the stagger or frequency of returns is responsible for putting the person back onto quarterly returns; this will not necessarily be a security officer but could be an officer from a team such as MTIC or Labour Provider (LP).

To revert to a quarterly stagger take the following action

  • Find out which quarterly stagger the person would prefer. It is useful to remind the person that they may want their VAT periods to be aligned with their financial year end. If the person is due to be placed on stagger 1 then they should still file monthly returns until the start of a stagger 1 period; for example, January, April, July, October, and so on.
  • Stagger changes can be actioned directly through Departmental Trader Register (DTR) or by completing form VAT12 (captured to Electronic Folder and sent to local keying team for input). The computer will automatically generate amended certificates of registration when the person has been transferred onto quarterly returns.

You should send the person the letter Reversion to quarterly returns, which tells them that they are allowed to make quarterly returns, gives them the last period for monthly returns and the first period for quarterly returns.