Making Tax Digital (MTD) will fundamentally change the administration of the UK tax system and impact most UK businesses.
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.
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.
Making Tax Digital 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 Making Tax Digital if they wish.
Why can’t I use free HMRC software to upload my VAT returns?
At this time of writing, we understand there will be no free software for Making Tax Digital for VAT. HMRC is working closely with software providers (such as Pegasus) to ensure a range of suitable products will be available.
HMRC may provide free software and applications for a VAT registered small business which might not already keep digital records of the accounts.
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
Can Pegasus Opera 3 deal with the above?
Yes, Pegasus Opera 3 is fully HMRC-accredited and will link to the new API for HMRC.
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.
Will Digital Tax only require VAT returns to be submitted?
For a business which falls into the VAT threshold, from April 2019 VAT returns submitted under Digital Tax will be mandatory. However, from April 2020, Corporation Tax will also fall into the Digital Tax requirements.
Digital tax will eventually encompass Individual Taxation as well as Business Taxation.
Individuals will be given options to set up Personal Tax Accounts.
CIS returns will feed directly into the Digital Tax account for subcontractors.