Making Tax Digital – The impact on Sage 50 customers

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the administration of the UK tax system and impact most UK businesses. Here's everything Sage 50 customers need to know.

What is Making Tax Digital?

Making Tax Digital is HMRC's vision to digitalise the UK tax system. Businesses and landlords will be required to use commercial software to maintain their records and to update HMRC quarterly, starting with VAT and then moving to Corporation Tax returns.

Can my current version of Sage 50 deal with Making Tax Digital?

No, ALL customers running versions older than 2015 will need to upgrade to the latest 50cloud release, due out Spring 2018, to be HMRC-accredited.

It’s critical customers running older versions discuss the impact of this with us urgently as there may be hardware implications of upgrading to this version.

If you are running versions above 2015 and have Sage Cover Extra then you will receive an update from Sage to be HMRC-accredited. If you are running versions above 2015 but don’t have Sage Cover Extra then you will need to upgrade to the latest 50cloud release, due out Spring 2018, to be HMRC-accredited.

When will this impact my business?

From April 2019, all VAT-registered businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold will be required to maintain digital records and will need to send their VAT information to HMRC using third party commercial software.

HMRC’s online portal will remain available to all other businesses that complete a VAT return but have turnover below the VAT threshold.

MTD for VAT will apply to VAT-registered businesses with turnover above the VAT threshold. This includes unincorporated businesses, companies, LLPs and charities.

Businesses registered for VAT but with turnover below the VAT threshold can opt in and file their VAT information via MTD if they wish.

What are the software requirements?

Commercial software must be able to:

  • Keep records in a digital form
  • Preserve digital records in a digital form
  • Create a VAT return from the digital records
  • Provide HMRC with VAT data on a voluntary basis
  • Receive information from HMRC via the API (application programme interfaces) platform. This will allow HMRC to send ‘nudges’ to the business/agent

Will there be penalties for non-compliance?

Yes - On 20th March 2017, the government published a further consultation document on the proposed model for late submission penalties and on penalties for late payment of tax.

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