Making Tax Digital filing: Three weeks left for VAT businesses to be ready!

Close up of person's neck and hands on a laptop with a mobile phone and spectacles next to itThere are only three weeks left for VAT-registered businesses to be ready for Making Tax Digital filing.

From Tuesday 1 November VAT businesses will no longer be able to use their existing Value Added Tax (VAT) online account to submit VAT returns.

By law, all VAT-registered businesses must now sign up to Making Tax Digital (MTD) and use compatible software to keep their VAT records and file their returns.

The aim of MTD is to help businesses get their tax right first time by reducing errors and making it easier to manage their tax affairs by going digital.

More than 1.8m businesses are already benefiting from the service and more than 19m VAT returns have been successfully submitted through MTD-compatible software so far.

In three weeks time businesses who file their VAT returns on a quarterly and monthly basis will no longer be able to submit them using their existing VAT online account, unless HMRC has agreed they are exempt from MTD.

If businesses do not file their VAT returns through MTD-compatible software they may have to pay a penalty. Even if a business is currently keeping digital records, they must check if their software is MTD compatible and sign up for MTD before filing their next return.
You can check whether your software is compatible and find a list of suitable software, including free and low-cost options, on the government website.

If a business is new and is not yet registered for VAT, it will automatically be signed up for MTD while registering for VAT through HMRC’s new VAT Registration Service (VRS).

For further information and guidance on how to get ready for Making Tax Digital filing visit