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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched new guidelines for businesses wanting to use technology to file their VAT returns that it reckons could reduce errors in VAT reporting by as much as 25 per cent.

The guidelines, published under the funky-sounding title "Publicly Available Specification 76", or PAS 76 - VAT for short, describe features that should be included in accounting software packages to make VAT reporting easier.

They will form the basis of a new Kitemark scheme for accounting software, so software developers will be able to show clearly that their product meets the requirements.

"Feedback from the business community has, for some time, requested that HMRC recommend VAT accounting packages," said David Garlick, HMRC director large business and employers. "We believe that PAS 76, not only fulfils this demand from business, but will also play a valuable role in increasing best practice and confidence in VAT reporting."

More information on the standard is available here, on the British Standards Institute website. ®

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