MTD for VAT from April 2019

This project is now on its third and supposedly final timetable, which of course is what HMRC basically said about the first two timetables.

The basic start time for quarterly profits reporting has moved from April 2018 to April 2020 since it’s original announcement in December 2015. For those who are VAT registered it all starts a year earlier in 2019. VAT Registered traders will have to submit their VAT Returns in digital format. No longer will they be able to produce the figures and then copy them into a form using the HMRC online log in (which 80% of traders currently do). Have no doubts, this is a BIG change for most VAT traders

Obviously, the MTD agenda being under the control of HMRC from the outset it was announced that there were to be penalties for late filing etc. and consultations were issued to help draw up the penalty regime.

Consternation abounded about the whole timetable from the outset and HMRC decided, as they did when their previous foray into mega tech was shall we say under performing, to give a period of grace for penalties which they wonderfully named “soft landing”.

You will recall that the RTI soft landing period for fines and penalties was announced at one year which due to continued and lamentable failings which cost us as Accountants and our clients dearly ended up being extended for four years.

Now with MTD HMRC made play about giving a 1 year soft landing for MTD failings but with the timetable moving further back from the original 2018 to 2020 we are wondering will HMRC be so benevolent with the fine free time scale?

Will they stick with one year? Or will they be saying that due to the extended timetable taxpayers will have plenty of time to sort themselves out to get ready for 2020 and so withdraw the one year?

Time like everything will give us the answer