By Lyndsey Hall
The government’s new digital tax system is here. From 1st April, if your business turns over more than £85,000 you’ll need to submit your VAT returns online, using approved accounting software.
If you don’t already use software like Xero, Quickbooks or Sage, you may be able to use a Bridging software to help you file your returns, but your HMRC Gateway will no longer be available. You’ll also need to authorise your software before you can get started filing.
Once your software is ready, you’ll need to sign up for MTD on the GOV UK website. To do this you’ll need your existing Government Gateway log in, and your VAT number.
You only need to switch to MTD filing of VAT returns for your first full return after 1st April 2019, so if you file quarterly that will be for your quarter end June 2019, and if you file monthly it will be from April 2019.
You can register early if you prefer to be prepared, but be aware that once you’re registered you will no longer be able to file in the old way. We also advise leaving a week or two between filing your final traditional return and registering for MTD to allow time for HMRC to process it. If you pay via Direct Debit, you’ll need to leave at least 5 days after filing your last return for the payment to be collected, and register for MTD at least 15 days before your next return is due to allow for the new payment to be set up.
It can take 72 hours or more for your MTD registration to be processed, so don’t leave it until the day before your return is due! We recommend that you look to sign up to MTD and authorise your software as soon as you’ve filed your last VAT return using the old method, which could be March, April or May 2019.
MTD for Group VAT registrations has been deferred until October 2019.
Take a look at our page on Cloud Accounting for more information on MTD and online accounting software.
If you’ve got any questions about MTD or the registration process, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.