If your business is VAT registered, and the turnover for the last year has exceeded £85,000, you should soon receive a letter from HMRC stating that you must comply with the making tax digital (MTD) rules from April 2019.
The MTD regime requires you to keep all records relating to VAT in a digital format and submit VAT returns through MTD compliant software. The online VAT return form on gov.uk will be closed to all businesses required to comply with the MTD for VAT regime. This is because HMRC wants to minimise the risk of human error in submission of VAT figures.
The online form will remain open for businesses who have voluntarily registered for VAT and whose annual turnover is under £85,000. But beware, as soon as your turnover for the last 12 months exceeds £85,000 you must comply with MTD from the start of your next VAT period.
You are responsible for keeping your business records in a digital form. This means recording the data from each transaction electronically. You don’t have to take a picture of each purchase receipt and sales invoice, but you must record the date of the sale, value excluding VAT and the VAT rate applied. Shops which use retail schemes can keep a digital record of the gross daily takings, so don’t have to record each sale separately.
A spreadsheet will qualify as a digital record if the VAT data can be transmitted via a digital link to MTD-compatible software, which submits it to HMRC. The digital link can be as simple as sending the spreadsheet to us by email, so we can import the data into our software.
Some businesses will prefer to use cloud-based accounting software, which enables people at different locations to access the data simultaneously. The accounting software will also automatically provide a back-up of the data.
If your accounting system hasn’t been updated for a while, contact us to discuss a more MTD-compatible model.