HMRC delays rollout of digital VAT returns – for some businesses

26 October 2018

HMRC recently invited over half a million businesses to join the a newly launched  MTD pilot for the new online VAT service ahead of new rules coming into force in April 2019.

HMRC believe that Making Tax Digital for VAT will make it easier for businesses to manage their tax and will save them, and their agents, time which can instead be devoted to maximising business opportunities, encouraging growth and fostering good financial planning.

From 1 April 2019 approximately 1 million businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above £85,000 will need to keep their VAT records digitally and file their returns using Making Tax Digital-compatible software.

The recently launched pilot opened for businesses whose affairs are up to date and straightforward, and will extend to most other business types in the coming months. HMRC has delayed joining for a further 6 months for a small group of customers who have more complex requirements. The delay will allow more time for testing the service with them in the pilot before they are required to join.

Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“HMRC is transforming the tax administration so that it’s more effective, more efficient and easier for taxpayers. Today’s announcement means that around half a million businesses will be able to join Making Tax Digital and start filing their VAT returns online, making it easier to get their tax right first time.

More and more businesses use digital tools every day to help them operate – tax shouldn’t be different. This is a major step towards bringing VAT into the 21st century.”

Theresa Middleton, Director for Making Tax Digital for Business, said:

“Millions of people are already banking, paying bills and interacting with their suppliers and customers online. Using digital tools to help businesses manage their business income and expenses and get their tax right builds on this momentum and will also help them get more control over their finances.

Eligible businesses and agents shouldn’t leave preparations to the last minute and are encouraged to join the pilot as soon as they can. Read more information on Making Tax Digital.”