Half of all small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make mistakes when filing their VAT returns, according to new research.

The figures show that just 27 per cent of small businesses are confident that they have filed their return correctly, even though they have spent more than an hour checking their figures.

The first online filing under the Making Tax Digital for VAT system falls in August, with the survey conducted by QuickBooks to find out how small businesses are coping with the change.

On average, businesses spend 86 minutes checking their figures prior to sending their VAT return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The research found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of businesses overpaid and received money back from HMRC as a result, while 18 per cent received fines as a direct result of their mistakes.

One-third of small business owners believe that relief is out of the way, with 19 per cent worrying that they have forgotten something and 18 per cent feeling anxious that they may have made an error.

The first online filing for Making Tax Digital is due today, 7 August 2019. This applies to all businesses that are VAT registered with a turnover of £85,000 or more, who were required to register for the online filing system in April 2019.

For advice and support with VAT returns or any Making Tax Digital queries, contact our expert team today.

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