IGA News

Are you prepared for Making Tax Digital? One month to go

Are you prepared for Making Tax Digital? One month to go

28 February 2019

Businesses are being warned of “Making Tax Digital Monday” on 1st April following swiftly on from “Brexit Friday”, leaving little room for concerns or mistakes.

New research suggests that almost two-thirds of businesses think that Making Tax Digital is a good idea, but nonetheless feel they have not been supported enough to make sure their business is compliant and overall feel unprepared for the deadline. Furthermore, with the official launch of MTD coming hot on the heels of the nation’s official exit from the EU, smaller businesses are likely to be feeling the heat when it comes to implementing the new systems.

Does MTD apply to my business?

If you are registered for VAT and your taxable turnover is above the threshold, MTD will apply to you.

If your taxable turnover drops below the VAT registration threshold at any point after 1 April 2019 you are still required to continue to keep digital records and send HMRC your VAT returns using MTD-compatible software. This obligation doesn’t apply if you de-register from VAT or if you are exempt from MTD for VAT.

If your business has a taxable turnover below the VAT threshold you can also sign up to MTD voluntarily.

The Garage Guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT

The IGA have produced a “Garage Guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT” for members, which you should have recently received in the post. This includes an introduction to the scheme and how it works, guidance on how to transition before the deadline, a helpful checklist for your business as well as further resources. If you have not received yours or need further assistance, call our direct member helpline or 0845 305 4230.

MTD-compatible software

Compatible software is a software product or set of software products that between them support the MTD obligations of keeping digital records and exchanging data digitally with HMRC through the MTD service. If more than one application is being used, data that flows between those applications must also be exchanged digitally, called ‘bridging software’.

Digital records can be kept in a range of compatible digital formats. They do not all have to be held in the same place or on one piece of software. For example, a spreadsheet can be a component of digital record keeping provided the product that consolidates records, or summary records from the spreadsheet, can exchange data digitally with HMRC.

HMRC will give businesses until 31 March 2020 to make sure there are digital links between software products. Before that date, cut and paste will be an acceptable way to transfer information.

HMRC has published details of the VAT and Income Tax software currently available for MTD here.

Sign up for the pilot

VAT-registered businesses are now able to join the MTD pilot, so instead of waiting until next April you can get compatible software now and try the new way of submitting your returns so you’re ready when the changes come in.

Click here to check that your business is eligible to sign up, then click the ‘sign up’ button and follow the instructions.

For any further questions or guidance, please call our friendly member helpline on 0845 305 4230.