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Preparing for Making Tax Digital (MTD) – The MTD VAT Pilot - Tax agents blog

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It is now less than a year until April 2019 when it becomes mandatory for all businesses above the VAT threshold to start keeping their business records digitally and submitting their VAT returns using MTD compatible software.

We are currently piloting the service, starting with an initial ‘private beta’ period (so called because it includes invitation-only volunteers) to test all the key elements on a small scale before opening the pilot up more widely.  This is going well so far - we have already tested the sign-up process and we are now starting to arrange the first submissions with a small number of volunteers.

Early joiners are, as planned, from the most straightforward VAT businesses and their representatives. We will gradually start increasing the numbers of businesses, of increasing complexity, that can take part.

Once we are satisfied things are working as we expect then we will open up the pilot to allow businesses to join without an invite. It will still be a pilot, and we will still be adding features that will allow more complex businesses to join, so we will publish guidance to help businesses (and their agents) determine when they can sign up.  Our aim is to give all business types the opportunity to participate before they are mandated to.

As a reminder:

  • businesses that join the MTD VAT pilot will need to keep their VAT records digitally from the first day of the period covered by their next VAT Return
  • agents will need to create their Agent Services account, if they haven’t done so already, and link any existing agent-client relationship to it, before attempting to sign-up clients to the MTD pilots.

Don’t forget - if your clients have Income Tax obligations they can join the MTD pilot for Income Tax.

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