Guidance

Making Tax Digital for VAT as a business: step by step

Follow these steps if you’re a business or sole trader and you need to follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Check if you have to join

Check if and when you have to follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Get the right software

You can use either:

  • a compatible software package that allows you to keep records and submit VAT Returns
  • bridging software to connect non-compatible software (like spreadsheets) to HMRC systems

You can search for software.

Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT

Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit, sign up at least 72 hours before your return is due.

If you pay by Direct Debit, sign up at least 7 working days before or 5 working days after your return is due. Make sure your last Direct Debit has come out of your bank account before signing up.

After you’ve signed up, you cannot use VAT online services to send VAT Returns.

Authorise your software

Before you can send VAT returns, you’ll need to authorise your software.

Ask your software supplier if you do not know how.

Published 26 February 2019
Last updated 5 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. If you pay by Direct Debit, sign up at least 7 working days before or 5 working days after your return is due. Make sure your last Direct Debit has come out of your bank account before signing up.
  2. The deadlines and frequency of your VAT Returns and payments will not change when you sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT.
  3. You need to sign up for Making Tax Digital at least one week before your VAT Return is due.
  4. First published.