On 11 January 2023, HMRC issued Revenue & Customs Brief 1/23 (link), confirming significant changes to the VAT option to tax notification process. With effect from 1 February 2023, HMRC will no longer issue receipt letters in response to option to tax notifications. This is a further development from the cessation in October 2022 of HMRC checks on option validity, with the onus clearly being placed on the taxpayer to confirm validity,

In future, options should be notified to HMRC by email and the taxpayer will receive an automated response, including confirmation of the date of receipt. The Brief emphasises the importance of the taxpayer retaining evidence of the option as part of their business records. If the use of email is not possible, notifications can be sent by an alternative method (e.g., by post), but there will not be an acknowledgment or receipt.

HMRC will also stop processing requests for confirmation of existing options to tax, except where the effective date is “likely to be over six years ago”, or the request is made as part of insolvency proceedings. If you need a replacement confirmation of an existing option, HMRC may provide this if requested by 1 February and we would be pleased to assist with any such requests.