Making Tax Digital for VAT filing – preparation and planning key to success

12th August 2019

In business, as in much of life, success comes through robust planning and preparation. Yes, it is nice to be spontaneous sometimes but only if that spontaneity doesn’t turn into procrastination and inhibit future outcomes. And if there is one area of business in particular where planning can really pay off it is in the accounting and tax functions.

Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTD) is a case in point. From initially being proposed in the 2015 budget its introduction may have been delayed and subject to multiple revisions; but once the final details had been firmed up it was vital that business planning got underway. The new MTD regulations require businesses with a VATable turnover in excess of £85,000 to submit their VAT returns digitally; and compliance with the new requirements potentially required an in-depth review and restructure of accounting systems and processes.

In order to help businesses to prepare for MTD Thompson Jenner ran a series of free seminars starting in October 2018 in Exeter and Exmouth. Those seminars were supported by website articles and discussions with our clients as required. Although HMRC had said that they would not issue sanctions against businesses which missed deadlines in the first year, that leniency was subject to businesses proving that they were doing their best to comply. Our aim was to ensure that our clients were ready to meet the initial reporting deadlines and we had answered all of the key questions.

The first milestone MTD dates have now passed with monthly-reporting businesses having submitted their first return by 7 June, and quarterly-reporting businesses with a quarter starting 1 April having faced an initial reporting date of 7 August. An HMRC press release on 11 July revealed that at that date some 600,000 businesses had registered with 10,000 fresh registrations being received every day. Interestingly businesses in the agricultural sector such as farmers saw the highest rate of sign up at 50%, whilst 75% of those in the finance sector had yet to register which could be that that is due to a delayed, 1 October, start for more complex businesses.

At Thompson Jenner Devon accountants we are really pleased at the way in which our clients have engaged with us in adopting the MTD requirements. As Partner Simon Lewis said, “Thanks to robust preparation and planning by our bookkeeping and outsourcing team, our clients have met their initial submission dates well on time. We look forward to continuing that success with our remaining clients including those who may fall under the 1 October implementation date.”


We are always looking to work with new clients. If you need any help with Bookkeeping or Outsourcing, Making Tax Digital for VAT, or any of our Business Support services, please contact Simon Lewis or one of our specialist Partners on  01392 258553 or 01395 279521 to arrange a free initial meeting.


Making Tax Digital for VAT fact sheet

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