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Filing an April 2019 VAT return under Making Tax Digital 

23/05/2019
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Key Making Tax Digital dates and our top five common misconceptions and pitfalls.

Those organisations who file VAT returns monthly will have to file their April 2019 VAT return in the next couple of weeks and many will have to do so in accordance with the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT requirements.

By way of reminder, the MTD regime took effect from 1 April 2019 and requires any VAT registered person with a taxable turnover above the compulsory VAT registration threshold of £85,000 to keep their VAT records digitally and submit their VAT data to HMRC through compatible software.

Most organisations file VAT returns on a three monthly basis so will have until the summer time, or later in the year if they benefit from a deferral to the start date, to ensure their MTD preparations are complete. However, those on monthly VAT returns have a much shorter period to ensure they are ready.

We have been working with a number of clients to support their preparations for MTD. Read our top five common misconceptions and pitfalls which include the key MTD dates for non-deferred and deferred organisations.

  1. I already submit through my software, so I don’t need to do anything
    This is a very common, and logical, misconception. Even if you already submit through compatible software (such as Xero), you still need to sign up for Making Tax Digital (MTD). This is because HMRCs back-end software for MTD is different to the online portal. You will get a new user ID and Password for submitting VAT digitally.

  2. I should sign up for MTD as soon as I can
    You should only sign up for MTD once you are fully ready to submit digitally.
    Once you sign up for MTD, you will no longer be able to submit VAT returns under the ‘old’ portal, so you must have compatible software in place. This is the case even if you are eligible for deferment.

    If you pay by Direct Debit you need to sign up seven days after your last VAT return, and at least five days before your next return is due so that the Direct Debit isn’t disturbed and payment for both returns are taken on time.

  3. MTD means I need to upgrade my software
    Not necessarily. While VAT records must be kept ‘digitally’, HMRC have confirmed that for the foreseeable future, it is possible to maintain records on basic spreadsheets and still comply with the requirements.

    In most cases, it is unnecessary to change your accounting software or incur significant additional cost to comply. There are a number of straight-forward and cost effective compatible solutions which can be used alongside a basic spreadsheet (such as bridging software).

  4. MTD is deferred
    HMRC have confirmed that certain organisations will qualify for deferral, and do not need to comply with the requirements of MTD until 1 October 2019. It should be noted that not all organisations qualify, and HMRC has written to organisations which they consider qualify for deferral, but acknowledge that their records aren’t able to identify all of those which qualify.
    A list of organisations which qualify for deferral can be found on www.gov.uk .

    If you think you qualify for deferral but haven’t yet received confirmation from HMRC, you should contact HMRC without delay, as they may have expected you to submit digitally from 1 April 2019.

  5. I need to submit digitally for all returns due after 1 April 2019
    VAT returns need to be submitted digitally for periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019 (or 1 October 2019 for businesses qualifying for deferral). First ‘digital’ submission for all entities is shown in the tables below.

MTD key dates - non-deferred

  Monthly
(Jan/Feb…Dec)

  > First MTD return  April 2019
  > Submission date – 7 June 2019

     
  March
(June/Sept/Dec)

  > First MTD return – April/May/June 2019
  > Submission date – 7 Aug 2019

     
 
April
(July/Oct/Jan)

  > First MTD return – May/June/July 2019
  > Submission date – 7 Sept 2019

     
  May
(Aug/Nov/Feb)

  > First MTD return – June/July/Aug 2019
  > Submission date – 7 Oct 2019



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTD key dates - deferred

  Monthly 
(Jan/Feb…Dec)

  > First MTD return – October 2019
  > Submission date – 7 Dec 2019

     
  March 
(June/Sept/Dec)

  > First MTD return – Oct/Nov/Dec 2019
  > Submission date – 7 Feb 2020

   
 
April 
(July/Oct/Jan)

  > First MTD return – Nov/Dec/Jan 2020
  > Submission date – 7 March 2020

     
  May 
(Aug/Nov/Feb)

  > First MTD return – Dec/Jan/Feb 2020
  > Submission date – 7 April 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Please contact us to discuss these issues in further detail and to understand how Crowe can support your MTD preparations.

View our latest webinar

Providing further practical actions for submitting in accordance
with MTD.

Contact us

Robert Marchant
Robert Marchant
Partner, VAT
London
Robert Warne
Robert Warne
Partner, Head of VAT
London
Keri Pay
Keri Pay
Partner, VAT
Midlands/Manchester