As we have highlighted in many posts to this blog, from 1 April 2019, ALL VAT registered businesses with turnover above the £85,000 VAT registration threshold will have to submit their VAT returns from within software that can link with HMRC’s networks. In techno- speak, your data will need to be transferred using a designated API (HMRC’s application programming interface).
The fact that you have always prepared your VAT returns electronically, for example, by using a spreadsheet to record transactions and create the data for your VAT returns, will not be enough. Your spreadsheet will not have the functionality to link with HMRC’s API. In these circumstances you will need to acquire bridging software that will draw data from your spreadsheet and forward it the HMRC in the required format.
HMRC have now clarified that only businesses with taxable turnover that has never exceeded the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) will be exempt from Making Tax Digital (MTD). You will therefore need to keep an eye on your taxable turnover, especially if you think it is close to the VAT registration threshold.
Additionally, you may be excused from applying the MTD filing obligations if:
- your business is run entirely by practicing members of a religious society whose beliefs are incompatible with the requirements of the regulations (for example, those religious beliefs prevent them from using computers);
- it is not reasonably practicable for you to use digital tools to keep your business records or submit your returns, for reasons of age, disability, remoteness of location or for any other reason; or
- you are subject to an insolvency procedure.
For the rest of us that are required to observe the MTD regulations, we should be using accounts software that will be MTD compliant come 1 April 2019. If you have consulted us on this issue you can be confident that any software that we have recommended will pass muster.
If you are still unsure which way to jump, please call so that we can help. As far as we can tell HMRC are on track to convert to this new filing process and the clock is ticking.