How do I sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT?
Ready to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT? Here are the steps you need to follow.
1. Choose (and sign up for) an MTD-compatible software program
You need to be set up with some MTD-compliant accounting software before you can sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT. Under MTD, you’ll only be able to submit your VAT returns using this software, which you’ll also use to keep records of any VAT you pay or collect—so it’s important to pick an application that you like, and that’s easy to use.
Can I still use spreadsheets for MTD?
You can continue to use spreadsheets to record your VAT accounts if you really want to. But if you choose this route, you’ll need to use ‘bridging software’ that connects the program you use with HMRC’s system.
Honestly, though: it’s going to be much easier to find a dedicated, compliant piece of software that you can use to keep your records and submit your VAT returns all in one place.
2. Gather the information you need before you start
When you’re ready to sign up for MTD for VAT, you’ll need to gather together all the information you’ll need for the registration process. HMRC will ask for details about you and your business, so to make things easier, make sure you have the following to hand:
- Your business email address
- Your Government Gateway ID and password
- Your VAT registration number and date
- Your latest VAT return
And, depending on what business structure you operate under, you’ll need the following information too:
3. Follow the steps on the government portal to sign up
Once you’ve gathered all the relevant information, you’re ready to sign up for MTD—congrats! The actual signup process is relatively simple, and you can do it on the gov.uk website. If you don’t yet have a Government Gateway ID and password, you’ll be able to sign up for one before you start the process of registering for MTD.
Once you’re there, just click through the registration form, enter your details, and—hey presto—you’re ready to go.
4. Wait for your confirmation email before you send a VAT return
You should receive an email confirming your registration within three days of signing up for MTD. If you don’t see the email arrive, be sure to check your spam folder (yes, even emails from HMRC can get lost in there occasionally!).
HMRC advises that you shouldn’t submit a VAT return before you’ve received your confirmation email—so hold off for now.