when should i file

Making Tax Digital confusion over dates: When must I file?

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Rouse Partners

We have been reminding businesses that Making Tax Digital (MTD) is now in place and HMRC have recently updated their guidance on when you should start the registration process.

In this article we take a look at when you are required to file as there has been some general confusion relating to the various timings being communicated by HMRC.

Confusion over multiple dates

In HMRC’s guidance there are several dates mentioned which might cause businesses some confusion. To summarise, for businesses with taxable turnover over £85,000:

  1. Registering up for MTD: To register you must allow at least 5 working days after your last non-MTD VAT return submission and at least 7 days before your first MTD VAT return submission is due (though it is wise to do so earlier). For example, if your first return is due 31 July, you should sign up no later than 24 July. Tip: Sign up as soon as possible after the date you need to start record keeping to allow time for any issues to be resolve before your first MTD filing, but see our warning;
  2. Record keeping: The date you must begin your digital record keeping is different from the date you must register for MTD. You must keep compatible records from the start of your first VAT return on or after 1 April 2019 (unless HMRC have written to you confirming an exemption or deferral to 1 October 2019);
  3. Submitting your VAT returns: Your deadlines for submitting VAT returns will remain the same as they currently are. For example, if your period ends 30 June, you will have until 7 August to make your submission. However, those paying VAT bills by direct debit will have an additional 3 working days before payment is taken from their bank accounts;
  4. For those reaching the VAT threshold in future: If you reach the VAT threshold in the future you will be required to complete MTD record keeping from the start of the next VAT period after the date when the VAT registration threshold was breached.

Warning: Before you register for MTD

Before you proceed please note that once you sign up for MTD, from this point onwards you must submit your VAT returns under the new MTD system and can no longer use the old/previous Government Gateway. So it is important that:

  • The last non-MTD VAT return you want to submit under the old/previous Government Gateway has been reconciled and submitted (you can’t switch to MTD if you have a draft, waiting or failed VAT return).
  • You will need to authorise the software or bridging software that you will be using. You will not be able to submit your VAT return if you do not have a compatible software in place when you sign up.
  • Check that your VAT details are correct in your software. You should check that the software you are using has the correct VAT scheme (flat rate or invoice based) and that your VAT registered number is correct.

Remember to leave sufficient time to carry out these tasks, as per point 2 above.

You may also like to see our article ‘Are you ready to make your first ‘Making Tax Digital’ submission’ which covers the steps to take.

We can help

For clients where we prepare VAT returns as part of their current service: We will cover these points and contact you in good time to carry out any necessary work, therefore no further action is needed before this.

For our clients who prepare their own VAT returns, or new clients: You should follow the details above and please contact us if you require further assistance.

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This information has been produced by Rouse Partners LLP for general interest. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this information is accepted by Rouse Partners LLP. In all cases appropriate advice should be sought before making a decision.

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