Client factsheet on Making Tax Digital
Making Tax Digital (MTD) is the most fundamental change to the administration of the tax system for at least 20 years.
The essential elements for businesses and organisations are:
  • Paper records will no longer be sufficient: It will become mandatory for almost all businesses and organisations (self-employed, partnerships; limited companies and others) to use software or a spreadsheet to keep accounting records. Paper accounting records will cease to meet the requirements of tax law.
  • Returns and quarterly reporting: There will be a requirement to submit VAT returns and income tax updates (monthly, quarterly and annually) to HMRC, directly from software.
As your accountants we will support you through these changes and provide the ongoing services that you need. However, the changes are so fundamental that it will be necessary to review your current record keeping systems and to reconsider what work you decide to do yourself and which activities you wish to include in the service we provide.
When does it start?
If your business is registered for VAT and your turnover is above the VAT threshold you will be required to keep digital accounting records and to file your VAT returns using MTD compliant software from April 2019 (the first VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2019). The current online VAT return will no longer be available. You will have recently received correspondence from HMRC confirming your entry date.
The 6-month deferral applies to customers who fall into the following categories - trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations that are not set up as a company, VAT divisions, VAT groups’, those public sector entities required to provide additional information on their VAT return (Government departments, NHS Trusts), local authorities, public corporations, traders based overseas, those required to make payments on account and annual accounting scheme users.
Income Tax (self-employed, partnerships, trusts and landlords who compete self assessment tax returns):
MTD is expected to become mandatory for income tax reporting, but not before 2020. Pilots of MTD for income tax have also started.
Corporation Tax (limited companies):
The timings for MTD for Corporation Tax have yet to be confirmed but it will not become mandatory before April 2020.
What do I need to do now? 
We need to discuss your transition to MTD with you so that you are ready for MTD reporting for VAT by Spring 2019 and also consider the transition for other taxes.
  • We may need to consider the possibility of a digital exclusion exemption i.e. for religious reasons or due to a factor such as age, disability or location (eg, no availability of broadband). These exemptions are the same as the current exemptions for VAT online filing.
  • If you currently use accounting software, it will probably need to be upgraded. You will need to be using the most up to date version to be MTD compatible.
  • If you are considering acquiring software, please discuss this with us first. We will be able to recommend appropriate software for your business.
  • If you currently maintain records on a spreadsheet you will need to acquire software which will allow returns and updates to be made directly from the spreadsheets, or engage us to do this for you.
  • If you currently maintain records on paper your processes will need to change. You will need to keep digital records or we can assist with your filing needs. If you wish you can provide records to us promptly after each quarter-end and engage us to do the bookkeeping, quarterly and annual reporting.
Where can I get further information about these changes?
Contact us at the office on 01384 455505 or at with any questions or queries.
HMRC website:

January 2019
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Making Tax Digital
Our Services
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Accounts Preparation
  • Management Accounts
  • Book-Keeping
  • Business Start-ups
  • Tax for business
  • Tax for individuals
  • Tax planning
  • VAT
  • Wealth protection
  • Payroll
  • Growth, profit & cash improvement strategies
  • Business restructuring & incorporations
  • Business sales, acquisitions, mergers & business valuations
  • Raising finance