The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a new six-month campaign to raise awareness of VAT simplification schemes, as new research shows many businesses are simply unaware of the schemes available to make paying VAT easier.A joint project was announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown in the 2005 Budget to identify awareness levels of VAT simplification schemes and design a campaign to help businesses make informed choices on the different schemes available.  A survey of small firms showed over one third were unaware of VAT simplification schemes which could apply to them.

BCC Director General David Frost said: “Payment of taxes can cause headaches for businesses.  Small firms in particular can find it difficult to calculate what taxes are due and when they must be paid.  The various VAT simplification schemes on offer could help to make life a little easier for smaller firms. This campaign aims to raise awareness so that employers can decide whether there is a scheme out there that would benefit their business."

Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, said: “The VAT schemes provide additional flexibility in the tax system and give business a range of options for reducing the burden of VAT administration and payment. Greater use of the schemes can also play a part in encouraging the growth of enterprise in the UK and this new campaign is an excellent example of collaboration between government and industry for the benefit of small business."

The campaign will run for six months from September 2005 – access via www.chamberonline.co.uk or contact HMRC National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000.