Guidance

Keep digital records for Making Tax Digital for VAT

What records you need to keep digitally if you've signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Most VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 must follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

The records you need to keep are the same as any VAT registered business, but you’ll need to keep some of them digitally.

You do not need to keep a digital record of:

How to keep digital records

You can use any digital product to keep your records, including:

  • the software you use to submit your return
  • spreadsheets
  • other software or digital products

Your digital records are used to make up the VAT return you submit using compatible software.

Using more than one product to keep records

If you use more than one product to keep your digital records, you’ll need to digitally link them together.

A digital link is a transfer or exchange of data between the products you use to keep your records. You can create digital links by doing things like:

  • linking cells in spreadsheets
  • emailing records to your agent
  • putting records on a portable device to give to your agent
  • importing and exporting XML and CSV files
  • downloading and uploading files

You must have digital links between the products you use by 31 March 2020, unless HMRC sent you a letter to tell you that you’re in the deferral group. If you’re in the deferral group, you must have digital links between the products you use by 30 September 2020.

Business records

You must keep the following business records digitally:

  • your business name and address
  • your VAT registration number
  • a record of any VAT accounting schemes that you use
  • details of the supplies your business makes and receives

You’ll also need to keep a digital record of the total amount of tax your business:

  • owes on sales
  • is entitled to claim on business purchases
  • owes and is entitled to claim on acquisitions from other EU countries
  • needs to pay on behalf of suppliers who use a reverse charge procedure
  • owes or can reclaim following a correction or error adjustment
  • owes or can reclaim as part of any other adjustment

Supplies your business makes

For each supply your business makes, you must keep a digital record of:

  • the time of supply - this is usually when you send the invoice, if you’re on a cash accounting scheme this is the date you received payment
  • the value of supply (net value excluding VAT)
  • rate of VAT charged

You’ll also need to record the total amount of VAT charged on supplies your business receives at:

You can combine the total value of supplies in one record if the supplies were:

  • on one invoice
  • made at the same time
  • charged at the same rate of VAT

If an invoice has supplies at different rates of VAT, you must record each rate of VAT charged separately.

If you use a third party

If you’re using a third party and they give you a single invoice for multiple supplies they make on your behalf, you can treat all supplies as one invoice.

Supplies your business receives

For each supply your business receives, you must keep a digital record of the:

  • time of supply – this is usually when you receive the invoice, if you’re on a cash accounting scheme this is the date you received payment
  • value of supply - including any VAT that your business cannot claim
  • amount of input tax you’ll claim

If there is more than one supply on an invoice, you can record the total from the invoice in one record.

If you use a third party

If you’re using a third party and they give you a single invoice for multiple supplies they receive on your behalf, you can treat all supplies as one invoice.

If you’re an employer

If you’re an employer, you can treat all invoices provided at one time by an employee or a volunteer as one invoice.

If you make a reverse charge supply

If your software does not record reverse charge transactions you’ll need to record them twice, once as a supply made and once as a supply received.

If you’re on a VAT scheme

If you’re on a scheme, there are some differences to the records you keep digitally.

Flat Rate Scheme

If you’re on a Flat Rate Scheme, you do not need to keep a digital record of:

Gold Special Accounting Scheme

If you’re on the Gold Special Accounting Scheme, you must keep additional records of the total amount of:

  • sales you made under the scheme
  • VAT paid on gold you bought under the scheme

Margin schemes

If you’re on a margin scheme, you do not need to need to keep the additional records or calculations digitally.

Retail Scheme

If you’re on a retail scheme you can record your daily gross takings instead of the individual sales.

Published 28 March 2019