VAT registered businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, need to be ready to keep digital records for VAT purposes using Making Tax Digital (MTD). This means that businesses must keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through MTD functional compatible software.
Many of the 1.2 million businesses affected by the MTD rules, will be required to submit their first quarterly VAT return to HMRC using software by the 7 August. If you are affected, you need to ensure you have signed up for MTD for VAT in order to submit VAT returns digitally. If paying by direct debit, you must register by Friday 27 July. There are currently around 10,000 businesses registering for MTD every day with more than 600,000 businesses having already signed up.
HMRC has said that during the first year of the changes, they will adopt a light touch approach to digital record keeping and filing penalties where businesses are doing their best to comply with the law. HMRC is clear that this does not mean a blanket 'no penalties promise' and businesses need to be aware to do all they possibly can to meet the MTD requirements.
Any businesses that are currently exempt from online filing of VAT will remain so under MTD. There are also provisions for those who cannot adapt to the new service due to age, disability, location or religion to apply for an exemption.
There is also a deferral group for certain entities that have until the first VAT Return period starting on or after 1 October 2019 to start using MTD for VAT. This includes businesses that are part of a VAT group or VAT division, use the annual accounting scheme or that make payments on account. If your business has a turnover under the VAT registration threshold, you are not currently mandated to use the MTD for VAT service but can opt to do so if you wish.
Help is at hand
If you have still not registered, or have had problems with the registration process, we can help. Please call so we can resolve any difficulties and get you organised before the June quarter filing deadline.