Making Tax Digital Pilot

As the deadline for Making Tax Digital for VAT is fast approaching, HMRC has released further updates, one of which is the pilot (timeline) for businesses to consider. The primary organisations affected by MTD will be those with a turnover over the VAT threshold (currently £85,000). They will have to keep computerised records related to their VAT compliance, beginning from the date of April 2019.

An entity owner will no longer have the capacity to sign in and type in their VAT figures onto HMRC’s site which at present is what 71 % of organizations do. Rather, they will have to move to electronic transfers from their accounting software to HMRC’s system.

The exception to this is a small minority of VAT registered organisations with more complex requirements, where their deadline to MTD has been delayed until 1 October 2019, for this see the time table below:

Making Tax Digital for VAT timeline

Early 2019/Spring 2019


Open to sole traders and companies who are not up to date with their VAT, users of the Flat Rate Scheme and businesses newly registered for VAT that have not previously submitted a VAT return.

Open to partnerships and those businesses that trade with the EU.

Pilot open for Making Tax Digital businesses that have been deferred (that have been in a surcharge period, meaning they have submitted or paid their VAT liability late).

April 2019 Making Tax Digital mandated for all businesses (except those that have been deferred).
October 2019


Making Tax Digital mandated for customers that have been deferred. The 6-month deferral applies to those who fall into one of 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. The deferral will apply to around 3.5% of mandated businesses.

For those who wish to sign up for the pilot, HMRC has released videos and webinars which are accessible by clicking on the following link:

When you sign up to Making Tax Digital VAT pilots you will need software packages, depending on your needs, most user friendly are Xero, QuickBooks and Sage Business Cloud. However, please see link below for a list of software’s which are available at the present:

And follow this link for updates regarding MTD for VAT:

Should you want more information on this or have any questions please contact your Barnes Roffe partner.


Blog written by Roxana Savu

Talk to Barnes Roffe today
Share this page:
Contact Us
ICAEW The Chartered Institute of Taxation ACCA IPG IR