The deadline for businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold to keep digital records and provide regular digital updates to HMRC for VAT purposes using Making Tax Digital (MTD) is fast approaching. From 1 April 2019, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to keep their records digitally (initially for VAT purposes only).
For VAT accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2019, businesses will need to provide their VAT return information directly to HMRC using MTD-compatible software. The deadlines for sending VAT returns and making payments are not changing. It is important that businesses are aware of these changes and are preparing for the approaching deadline.
HMRC has been working with a growing number of software suppliers to ensure that their software supports MTD for VAT. HMRC launched an initial beta pilot of Making Tax Digital for VAT in April 2018 and the pilot is expected to be widened later this year with more businesses being invited to join.
Following concerns, HMRC has agreed to give businesses until 31 March 2020 to make sure there are digital links between software products. During the first year of MTD for VAT, businesses who use more than one software programme to keep their VAT records and prepare and file returns will not be required to have digital links between those software programmes.
This means that cutting and pasting may be an allowable way to transfer information during the first year of MTD for VAT. This most commonly relates to use of a spreadsheet for calculating the final figures to enter onto a VAT return. In the future, bridging or MTD-compatible software will be required so the information can be digitally sent to HMRC with no manual intervention.