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Making Tax Digital (MTD) - everything you need to know

What is Making Tax Digital?

We've got you covered for Making Tax Digital (MTD). Find out how to enable MTD and read our handy guides to make sure you're ready. We can help make it easy!

Making Tax Digital began on 1 April 2019 and we’re here to help make it easy for you. If you’re a VAT-registered company with a turn-over of £85K or more you will need to comply with HMRC’s initiative to transform the UK tax system into one of the most digitally advanced in the world. The way you file your VAT returns will change.



Am I affected by Making Tax Digital?


Not sure if you will need to comply with MTD? Refer to HMRC's website which details when a company must be MTD compliant.

How to sign up for MTD and submit a VAT return


It's important to note before you sign up for MTD:


  • The last VAT Return you want to submit under the Government Gateway has been reconciled and submitted. (Once you are signed-up to MTD you will no longer be able to access the old service and will need to file all your VAT returns from that point onwards using MTD-compatible software).
  • You should sign-up for MTD at least a week before your filing deadline so that you are registered for the new service in good time to submit your return. After signing up, you will then need to link your software to MTD - a process known as ‘authorising’ the software. We’ll show you how in step 2.


Step 1. Sign up for MTD on HMRC website


The first step you need to take is to sign up for MTD on the HMRC website. This lets the government know that you intend to submit your next VAT return in an MTD compliant way. Make sure you have your Government Gateway user login details and information about your business such as your VAT number to hand as you will be asked to provide these to sign up.


  1. Visit (external link)
  2. Click Sign up your own business for Making Tax Digital for VAT and follow the on-screen prompts.
  3. When prompted, enter your Government Gateway credentials then click Sign in. If your business is not yet eligible to sign up for MTD, a message appears to advise this.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts, providing any requested information.
  5. When you receive a verification email, click the link in the email to verify your email address. This can take up to 72 hours to be delivered to you, so please allow yourself enough time for this to happen when you are signing up.
  6. Read and accept the terms of participation. HMRC will then confirm if you can start submitting VAT Returns under Making Tax Digital. This confirmation usually occurs within 24 hours. When submitting under MTD, you can continue to use your existing Government Gateway user ID and password credentials.


Step 2. Enable QuickBooks to interact with HMRC


The next step you will need to take is to enable MTD in QuickBooks Online. You won't be able to do this without signing up for MTD on the HMRC website in step 1. If you’ve not done this, please do it before you start step 2.


Here is our guide to turning on MTD in QuickBooks.


You can also watch this short video that will show you how it’s done.



Step 3. Submit a VAT return to HMRC


Once MTD has been authorised in QuickBooks you are then ready to submit your VAT Return. This is the standard process and assumes you have been using QuickBooks you record all your income and expenses.


Here is our guide to submitting your VAT in an MTD compliant way in QuickBooks using the standard process.


You can also watch this short video that will show you how it’s done.



Step 3 (spreadsheets). Submit a VAT return through bridging software


This is our bridging software process and assumes you have been using a programme like Excel to record all your income and expenses.


Here is our guide to submitting your VAT in an MTD compliant way in QuickBooks using the bridging software.


You can also watch this short video that will show you how it’s done.



(optional) Step 4. Mark your VAT Return as filed in QuickBooks


Once you have submitted your VAT return you file mark it as filed in QuickBooks. You can then close the books to protect transactions entered in the quarter you just filed.


This article shows you how to record a VAT payment or refund in QuickBooks.


Watch steps 1 to 3 in our MTD webinar.


If you need to see how it's done in detail we’ve filmed a helpful video for QuickBooks customers. This webinar shows you all the steps you need to take. From signing up on the HMRC website to submitting an MTD compliant VAT return.

Making Tax Digital further reading


If you need more information on MTD we have a list of FAQs that may have the answer to your question.


Our blog is regularly updated with all the latest news on Making Tax Digital. You can read all the latest articles here.



Need more help? Speak to an expert.


Find an MTD-ready Advisor


Our directory gives you access to a network of QuickBooks Certified Accountants and Bookkeepers near you. Find an advisor here.


Speak to us


Our team are here to help provide all the information you need to get MTD ready. Request a callback here or call 0808 168 4252.


*QuickBooks MTD software currently supports Standard, Cash and Flat Rate schemes. QuickBooks Bridging Software supports Standard and Cash schemes. Annual submissions are not currently supported but will be coming soon. Businesses whose home currency is not GBP are currently not supported for MTD.

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