Businesses with intra-EU trade in excess of £600,000 per annum for imports and /or £250,000 per annum for exports are required to submit an intrastat declaration.
Whilst these rules are not changing, HMRC is bringing forward the monthly deadline for the submission of these declarations. Previously these were due on the last day of the month following the month to which the sales relate. However, from 1 April 2012 it will become 21st of the month following the month to which the sales relate. Therefore declarations in respect of March 2012 will be due by 21st April 2012.
We appreciate that this will not be good news as the declarations will be due an average of 9 or 10 days earlier than before. HMRC has assured that these deadlines are still more generous than those applied in other member states, and that before introducing these measures they consulted businesses to determine how they could support them through this change. Following this consultation HMRC delayed the introduction of the rules from their originally proposed date of January to April to allow businesses to prepare.
Whilst some consolation this does not change the fact business will have to ensure a speedier turnaround of their declaration and we anticipate this will create an administrative challenge for some businesses.
Please also bear in mind that strictly failure to submit on time or providing incomplete or incorrect information may be viewed as committing a criminal offence! Although we understand that this is only pursued in extreme circumstances.