You may have heard that, on 10 January 2019, HMRC announced that their Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTDfV) pilot was now open. As such, it is accessible to all those mandated to keep digitally compliant records and to file MTD-compatible VAT returns, for return periods commencing after 31 March 2019. Plus, in an email issued, HMRC stated that: “this marks a significant milestone towards our ambition to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.” And, HMRC boasts that over one hundred VAT-registered businesses, of which you may well be one, are now signing up to the scheme on a daily basis, with more than 3,500 having already joined.
Even though, like the majority, you may not need to file up your first MTD-complaint return until early August, the department wants you and “as many eligible businesses as possible to join the pilot ahead of the mandation of the service in April”, as it will provide assurance that the service works for you and all types of customers.
This means that, if you are a VAT-registered entity, with an annual VAT-able turnover in excess of the £85,000 compulsory registration threshold – i.e. you are mandated to onboard from April – you will now have the chance to test your accounting system, prior to April. If you are in the minority of compulsory registered businesses – i.e. with the most complex VAT affairs – you would have had your mandation date deferred to your first return period, starting on or after 1 October 2019.
In addition, HMRC has also opened its MTDfV pilot to VAT groups with immediate effect. What that means is that if you are within a VAT group, you are now able to start testing the service – even though you are not mandated to join until October. The department stated that it “will continue to update you as we open up the pilot to the remainder of the population who are mandated to join from October.”