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Submit a VAT return to HMRC - MTD for small businesses

From April 2019, all eligible UK VAT-registered businesses will have to keep their financial records in a digital form and submit their VAT returns using approved software. Find out whether you are eligible here.


This article is for small businesses who are eligible for Making Tax Digital (MTD) or signed up for MTD voluntarily.


If you have not signed up for MTD, go to this article.

In order to submit a VAT return to HMRC for MTD, you need to have authorised QuickBooks to interact with HMRC.

Note: Make sure that you have received an email confirmation from HMRC before attempting to submit a VAT return for MTD. It takes approximately 72 hours after you have opted in to MTD on HMRC's website.

When you're ready to submit a VAT return, follow these steps below:

  1. Go to Taxes on the left nav, and click on Submit Return.User-added image
  2. On the Prepare VAT return page, check the figures for each box. When you are ready to submit your VAT return, click on Submit to HMRC.User-added image
  3. On the next page, tick the I declare the information is true and complete box, followed by Submit to HMRC.User-added image
  4. While the submission is taking place, you will be shown a page as below. Do not close this page until a receipt confirmation message has been received.User-added image
  5. Once your submission has been completed, you'll receive a message below. Click on Done to close the window.User-added image

Once the return has been submitted to HMRC you will receive an email confirmation containing a receipt number along with information of your return. Below is an example.

User-added image

This email is sent from If you have not received this email within a few minutes after your return has been submitted, check your spam or junk folder.

We've put together a list of common questions to help, click here to view our Smart Tips. Alternatively, you can review a list of MTD content here.


*QuickBooks MTD software currently supports Standard, Cash and Flat Rate schemes and annual submission. QuickBooks Bridging Software supports Standard and Cash schemes. Businesses whose home currency is not GBP are currently not supported for MTD.

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