As it stands, there is no indication from HMRC of any changes to either the information businesses will need to submit or to any deadlines for filing information and making VAT payments. Submissions will still need to be made to HMRC at least quarterly, but under the new MTD regime, these will need to be sent through the business’ Digital Tax Account. It will still be possible under MTD to submit returns to HMRC monthly.

The key change under MTD relates to how businesses record, calculate and submit VAT return information.

Under the new regulations, businesses must record all transactions digitally, keep those records in “functional compatible software” (i.e. software and spreadsheets that can connect to HMRC via an approved interface) and preserve digital records in compatible software for up to six years.

Businesses using spreadsheets to maintain records may still be able to do so under MTD, but HMRC has advised that these systems will need to link to and be submitted digitally through MTD-compliant software.

HMRC has already confirmed that the new requirements will not mean businesses need to retain their invoices and receipts digitally but they must retain information relating to:-

• The business name, principle place of business and VAT registration number
• Details of which VAT accounting scheme the business uses
• The VAT account that each VAT registered business must keep by law
• Information relating to supplies made and received, broken down into sub-totals for each rate of VAT (many businesses will not currently capture this level of detail).

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