Around 1.2 million businesses impacted by Making Tax Digital are soon due to file their first quarterly VAT return. According to HMRC, businesses who plan to pay by direct debit have to register by the 27th July – despite many still feeling unprepared for the transition to MTD.
If your business has a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (which is currently £85,000) then it must be registered for Making Tax Digital. Ahead of the first return, tax expert Mike Parkes of GoSimpleTax, is providing advice on how to prepare for Making Tax Digital, and how to iron out any issues that have been identified early on.
“Making Tax Digital has been a long time coming” Mike explains. “But since it has arrived, it has been posing issues. And one of the biggest problems is that people don’t feel prepared or know exactly what to do step-by-step. With the first VAT return deadline looming, I have put together my ‘top MTD tips’ to share, to help those who’ll be affected by Making Tax Digital:
Ideally, you’d have started on the 1st April 2019. But, it’s better late than never. If you haven’t already – start keeping digital VAT records (you can use bridging software to help you with any old spreadsheet data). This will make submitting your VAT return via the new MTD regulations far easier, rather than rushing at the last moment trying to sort everything out.
Some have noted issues with contacting HMRC with any problems that they might be having. As such, it might be worth making sure you have somebody else to fall back on for advice should you need it. Especially as your deadline approaches. An accountant or software provider should be able to assist you with submitting your MTD VAT return, and in turn, may be able provide the information you might not be able to seek from HMRC.
HMRC has allowed the use of MTD bridging software to make the transition easier. Bridging software will allow you to still use spreadsheets to log your VAT return but will help to communicate the data with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital systems and keep you in line with requirements. As stated in the name, bridging software should help make the transition from traditional filing to digital filing far easier – and I would strongly recommend it to any business needing aid with their first MTD submission.”