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Making Tax Digital (MTD) came into force by HMRC on 1st April this year changing the UK’s tax system where organisations now must submit their VAT digitally.

Although for some this journey may have began way back in April, some businesses received a deferred start date and therefore this did not apply to them until now. As of 1st October 2019, deferred business now must adhere to HMRC’s new scheme – with the central aim being to simplify tax for your business.

What is MTD?

MTD is a scheme that was enforced by the HMRC which means businesses now have to do their taxes digitally, via software, including making payments to them. This was implemented back in April 2019, meaning MTD for VAT became mandatory for most VAT-registered businesses.

MTD for VAT will allow you to keep complete, accurate and readable VAT records digitally. Therefore, getting away from paper-based ledgers. In upcoming years, other types of business tax such as income and corporation tax will also be included.

Which businesses are deferred for MTD for VAT?

For those who have been acknowledged by the HMRC to have ‘more complex business requirements’ were given a deferred start date of October 1st 2019. However, these businesses did have the option to join a pilot scheme before this date if they wanted to start earlier.

Businesses that were given a deferred start date include:

  1. Businesses required to make payments on account
  2. Annual accounting scheme users
  3. Trust
  4. Not-for-profit organisations that are not set up as a company
  5. VAT divisions
  6. VAT groups
  7. Public sector entities that are required to provide additional information on their VAT return
  8. Local authorities
  9. Public corporations
  10. Traders based overseas

When can my deferred business sign up for MTD for VAT?

Your business can’t sign up for MTD VAT until after filing your last non-MTD for VAT return. This means you also have to take into account the rule that a VAT return and payment is usually filed within a whole calendar month plus seven days after the end of the VAT accounting period. You can check your filing deadline in your online VAT account on HMRC’s website.

HMRC provides the following guidelines about when you can sign up for MTD for VAT and the earliest you can file your first MTD for VAT return:

Direct debit payments: allow 5 working days after the filing deadline for your final non-MTD return before signing up for MTD for VAT, and at least seven working days before the filing deadline to file your first return under MTD.

Non-direct debit payment methods: allow 24 hours after your last non-MTD return before signing up, and 72 hours after signing up before filing your first return under MTD.

Additionally, if you’ve filed your last VAT return late and you pay back by direct debit, you must allow 5 working days after filing later before signing up.

If you pay by non-direct debit methods then, as above, you must allow 24 hours before signing up if you filed your VAT return late.

When should my deferred business submit its first MTD for VAT return?

Assuming your business have’t taken part in the pilot scheme, then your first VAT period will start on or after 1st October 2019 or when it first falls under the MTD for VAT requirements.

For example:

  1. If your VAT period had a 30 September end date, your first VAT quarter under MTD for VAT starts on 1 October 2019.
  2. If your VAT period has a 31 October end date, your first VAT quarter under MTD for VAT starts on 1 November 2019.
  3. If your VAT period has a 30 November end date, your first VAT quarter under MTD for VAT starts on 1 December 2019.

It’s important that for your first and then all subsequent VAT periods that you have the correct software in place to keep your VAT accounting digitally.

VAT Groups

Those who are on Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and some versions of Dynamics AX are MTD compliant. However, VAT groups will require compatible software to send VAT returns to HMRC.

‘VAT Groups’ eliminate the need for VAT between group companies. Limited liability partnerships or related companies can register as a single taxable person – referred to as a VAT Group. According to the HMRC, there are 20,000 VAT Groups in the UK, which includes a range of business types and sizes.

Deadlines for VAT Group MTD Compliance

October 2019

As of 1st October, it is mandatory for groups to use compliant software to submit group VAT.

April 2020

Other VAT businesses and landlords, on top of most organisations that are voluntarily registered for VAT, will be subjected to MTD rules.

October 2020

For VAT Groups, the links between the software must be digital from 1st October 2020 for the software to be considered functionally compatible for MTD. This is when HMRC’s soft landing period ends and the requirement for a digital connection into underlying records, such as purchase and sales ledgers, come into force.

HMRC soft-landing period

For VAT Groups, HMRC will have a soft-landing period of a year. During this time, some existing processes will be allowed, however, digital links will be mandatory by October 2020. VAT Groups will need to report on VAT digitally from then,however, in the meantime spreadsheets and manual processes can be used to make calculations.

Am I complaint for VAT Groups?

Businesses that use consolidated group VAT are required to start using group MTD compatible software to send their VAT returns to HMRC. Unlike single VAT submissions, where Microsoft provided recent versions of MTD capability, Microsoft doesn’t offer an upgrade for Dynamic users to submit their group VAT. All Group VAT organisations need to source a digital solution.

We have been helping several organisations with our own solution to support this move and users on their MTD journey. On Dynamics MTD module seamlessly integrates Microsoft Dynamics NAV to BTC’s MTD bureau software, providing a VAT friendly format for submission to HMRC.

If you want to learn more about what we offer visit our MTD Page, or if you want to speak to us directly give us a call on 01698 844 600.

Rachel Timmins

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Rachel Timmins

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