Guide to Making Tax Digital

The government has a vision: to be one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations.

As a way of achieving their goal, HMRC has put in place a plan to move records to a digital platform. Making Tax Digital is part of this plan to make it easier for businesses to get their taxes right. This change means that paper records will no longer meet the requirements of tax law, and HMRC-approved software will be required to directly submit information.

If you have any questions about Making Tax Digital, this page outlines all you need to know about your responsibilities, the deadlines and how you could be affected.

Why was Making Tax Digital introduced?

As well as abolishing the need for paper records, HMRC say Making Tax Digital will make it simpler for businesses to get their tax right, first time.

It will also bring the recording of taxes in line with other digital processes, such as:

  • Online banking.
  • Paying bills.

It is expected that other taxes will follow suit, such as Corporation Tax and Income Tax.

Who does Making Tax Digital apply to?

Currently, you must follow the rules for Making Tax Digital if you are registered for VAT and have a taxable turnover of over £85,000.

If your taxable turnover is under £85,000, then you can follow the rules on a voluntary basis.
However, if you are close to exceeding the threshold of £85,000, then it is a good idea to sign up as you will be covered.

Eventually, all businesses will have to comply.

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The Making Tax Digital timeline

You will begin to follow the rules on one of two dates, this will usually be 1 April. If your business falls into the deferral group, then you will begin to follow the rules on 1 October.

The timeline for Making Tax Digital is illustrated in the table:



1 April 2019

Making Tax Digital is implemented for VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000

1 October 2019

Making Tax Digital is rolled out to deferred businesses

1 April 2020 (earliest)

Making Tax Digital is implemented for Corporation Tax and Income Tax

Your handy guide to Making Tax Digital

Our guide to Making Tax Digital contains all of the information you need.

We have looked at the dates for your diary, and what you need to do to stay compliant.

Getting started

To get started, you will need the following to hand:

  • Compatible software
  • A Government Gateway account
  • Your business email address
  • Your VAT certificate and last VAT return you submitted to HMRC
  • Company registration number as registered with Companies House
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference for Corporation Tax
making tax digital

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