MTD for VAT Pilot is Now… Open to All

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.

Testing time

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.

What does it mean?

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.

VAT groups now able to join the pilot  

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.”

Want to know more?

You can find further details in HMRC’s updated guidance for businesses, updated guidance for agents, and the stakeholder partner packs on GOV.UK.


Lotuswise Chartered Accountants and Business Consultants can help you make sense out of the MTD for VAT scheme and also help your business succeed. To find out how, please contact us. To also get even more useful business and finance information and tax advice tips, check out our app on Google or Apple stores.


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