You will receive a VAT Assessment Letter from HMRC if you have not submitted a VAT return and paid the VAT on time for a particular quarter.
What is a VAT Assessment?
A VAT Assessment from HMRC is an estimate of how much VAT they think you owe for the missing quarter. It has contains a payment demand for that amount.
What to do about a VAT Assessment
The best course of action is to submit the missing VAT return and any payment due immediately.
If you have received a VAT assessment and you notice that it is lower than you true VAT liability, you have 30 days to submit the missing VAT return.
Take any longer than 30 days and HMRC will charge you a VAT penalty once you do bring your VAT up to date.
If your VAT assessment is too high then, unfortunately, you can’t do anything to lower it.
You must just send in the missing VAT return and pay the overdue VAT to sort things out.
Does a VAT Assessment Include Penalties?
It is important to remember that a VAT Assessment is not a penalty. It is an estimate of how much VAT HMRC think you owe them.
Once you have bought your VAT up to date late submissions of VAT returns and payments can result in surcharges and interest charges based on the amount you owe.