Making Tax Digital deadlines

MTD deadlines – quarterly submission dates explained

4 min read

Have you got your head around the Making Tax Digital for VAT deadlines? We’ve highlighted the important steps you need to complete and flagged up the key dates to make sure your clients with quarterly VAT returns stay compliant.

Why you should act now

HMRC will not be transferring businesses to Making Tax Digital unless it is asked to do so. Every one of your clients that is joining MTD for VAT will need to be signed up individually. And since HMRC’s online services are often slower during their busy times, it makes sense to get sorted as soon as possible.

Preparing for MTD submissions

A few things need to be in place before you can meet your clients’ VAT filing deadlines.

  1. Check you have the right software in place. If you’re still not sure if your provider is compliant with Making Tax Digital, check out HMRCs list of recognised providers (including Intuit QuickBooks, of course).

  2. Have you created an Agent Services Account? If not, get this sorted as soon as possible. HMRC has clear instructions.

  3. Link your clients to your ASA. This is very straight forward if you’ve already submitted a VAT return on their behalf, but if you haven’t, you’ll need to allow a few days for their approval.

  4. Sign your clients up for Making Tax Digital at the right time. Remember, once you’ve signed them up you can’t go back to the old system. Still not sure if your clients need to comply? Try QuickBooks’ MTD-checker.

  5. Next, you’ll need to authorise your software to interact with HMRC and enable MTD for each client. This will need to be done again in 18 months’ time.

  6. Finally, enable MTD in QuickBooks for each of your eligible clients. This needs to be done separately for each individual and can take some time.

When to sign your clients up to MTD

It takes 72 hours for HMRC to send confirmation through, so make sure you sign clients up well before the MTD for VAT quarterly submission deadline.

If your client pays their VAT by Direct Debit, you’ll need to leave at least 5 days from the date of their last VAT submission, and allow at least 7 days before the first MTD for VAT submission is due.

Key MTD deadlines

The deadlines for quarterly VAT returns haven’t changed, but there’s still some confusion about when Making Tax Digital takes effect.

Here are the dates you need to be aware of for your clients who submit their VAT every quarter.

First MTD for VAT return period Digital accounts kept from: Sign up to MTD by: Deadline for first MTD for VAT submission
1 April-30 June 2019 1 April 2019 3 August (or 24 July if paying by Direct Debit) 7 August 2019
1 May-31 July 2019 1 May 2019 3 September (or 24 August if paying by Direct Debit) 7 September 2019
1 June-31 August 2019 1 June 2019 2 October (or 23 September if paying by Direct Debit) 7 October 2019

Some examples:

Bob’s accountant submitted his last quarterly VAT return on 31 March. He started keeping digital records on 1 April. His first MTD for VAT submission deadline is 7 August, for the period 1 April-30 June. Bob pays his VAT by Direct Debit, so his accountant knew he had to sign him up for MTD after 5 April but before 24 July.

Alice also pays her VAT quarterly. Her bookkeeper submitted her last VAT return on 30 April and Alice started keeping digital records on 1 May. Her first Making Tax Digital for VAT submission is due by 7 September. Alice’s bookkeeper has until 3 September to sign her up to MTD, but she did this as soon as her last VAT return was submitted, back in April.

We hope you’ve found this article about MTD deadlines useful. If you follow these simple steps, you can be sure you’re MTD compliant – QuickBooks takes the stress out of deadlines.

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