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Half of all small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) make errors when filing their VAT returns, according to the latest research.
The data also revealed that just 27 per cent of small businesses are confident that they have filed their return correctly, even though they have spent more than an hour checking their figures.
The first online filing under the Making Tax Digital for VAT system fell in August, with the survey conducted by QuickBooks to find out how small businesses are coping with the change.
On average, businesses spend 86 minutes checking their figures before sending their VAT return to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The research found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of businesses overpaid and received money back from HMRC as a result, while 18 per cent received fines due to their mistakes.
One-third of small business owners felt relieved once their VAT return was completed, with 19 per cent worrying that they have forgotten something and 18 per cent feeling anxious that they may have made an error.