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Limited time to sign up for new HMRC scheme before tax return deadline

by Sophie Haigh | Jul 24, 2019

Half of all businesses are still not signed up to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital for VAT and could face fines later on in the process if they fail to submit their quarterly tax return digitally by the beginning of August.

Launched in April this year, HMRC’s new scheme requires businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 to keep digital VAT records using a compatible software, with the aim of making it easier for individuals and companies to correctly record their tax and keep on top of their finances.

If you’re already signed up to Making Tax Digital, you’ll need to submit your first quarterly tax return by 7th August. If you wish to pay by direct debit however, you must ensure that you have signed up by 27th July.

The things you’ll need in order to submit your tax returns, include:

·         A compatible software to submit your VAT return

·         A Government Gateway user ID and password

Further information will be needed if you are signing up as:

·         A limited company – including registered company name, business email and contact

·         A sole trader – including National Insurance contributions number

·         An agent for a client’s business – including VAT and company registration numbers

If you’re an individual or limited company that has never used VAT online services or is creating a new Government Gateway user ID, you will need to answer questions such as:

·         Your VAT registration number

·         The date you became VAT registered

·         The address where the business is registered for VAT

·         The box 5 amount from your last VAT Return


Some 1.2 million businesses are affected by the changes, and although only 50% have currently signed up, Theresa Middleton, Director of Making Tax Digital at HMRC has said: “During this first year we won’t be issuing, filing or record keeping penalties to businesses doing their best to comply.” Despite this though, companies that do miss a payment deadline will enter a 12-month period during which you may have to pay a surcharge on top of your existing VAT bill if you miss more than one payment.

To help prepare catering businesses for the change, we have partnered with Xero, who are offering NCASS members an exclusive 50% off their software for the first 12 months. Xero is a HMRC recognised VAT software provider that allows you to publish VAT returns and submit them directly to HMRC. The software also enables you to see your cash flow in real time, get paid faster with online invoicing, collaborate online with your accountant and back up your date automatically, plus much more. To sign up with Xero, click here.

To find out more about Making Tax Digital, click here.

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