18 March 2019

Making Tax Digital - how and when to sign up

Before you submit your first VAT returns under MTD you need to sign up on the HMRC website

In order to be able to submit your VAT returns for MTD, you need to be sure to sign up with HMRC to activate your account. This needs to be done at the right time to ensure your first complete VAT return due after 1 April is compliant with the new system.

Signing up for MTD for VAT

Registering with HMRC for VAT does not happen in real time. For businesses that pay VAT by direct debit this will need to be done at least seven working days before sending their first VAT return and at least five days after sending their last VAT return under the old system.  It is also worth noting that it may take HMRC up to 72 hours from signing up to send a confirmation email to confirm returns can be submitted using software that is compatible with MTD for VAT.

Your first MTD VAT return will be due within one month and 7 days of the end  of your first VAT period which starts after 1st April 2019.

If your business submits monthly returns, that will be the VAT period ending 30th April 2019.

If your business submits quarterly VAT returns that will be the period ending 30 June 2019, 31 July 2019 or 31 August 2019 depending on your VAT return cycle.

You may qualify for an extended deadline if you are an eligible body. You can find out more about eligible bodies here.

To register you should follow this link to HMRC's sign-up page. You will need your government gateway ID and password and your VAT registration number. HMRC will confirm your registration by email within 72 hours.

HMRC has also produced a video showing step-by-step instructions.

How we can help

If you are still in the process of getting your accounting software ready for the deadline, you can read more on what's required here.

If you already have MTD compliant software we would recommend you review your existing procedures for recording income and expenditure transaction to confirm that they are in line with MTD regulations and HMRCs expectations.  Our specialist VAT team would be delighted to assist you to confirm your procedures are MTD compliant.

If you would like our help and advice on moving your accounting to a cloud-based package, we can help. We have a team of Xero specialists in-house who can help with set-up and training. Find out more here.