Guidance

Making Tax Digital for VAT as an agent: step by step

Follow these steps if you’re an agent and your clients need to follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

1. Check if and when your client has to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT

Check if and when your client has to start keeping digital records, sign up and use software.

2. Get the right software

You can search for software packages that are compatible with Making Tax Digital for VAT.

3. Create an agent services account

You’ll need to create an agent services account.

This is different to your HMRC online services for agents account.

An agent services account lets you copy across your existing VAT clients’ authorisations from your HMRC online services account.

You’ll need your Government Gateway user ID.

4. Sign up your existing VAT clients for Making Tax Digital

Sign up your clients for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

You can manage your client’s details online once you have signed them up.

5. Ask new clients to sign up to Making Tax Digital

If you want to act for a client that you have not copied across in the previous step, they’ll need to sign up to Making Tax Digital.

You can then ask them to authorise you. You cannot do this step for them.

6. Ask new clients to authorise you

Sign in to your agent services account then:

  1. Select ‘Ask a client to authorise you’.
  2. Create an authorisation request – this appears as a link.
  3. Send the link to your client.

Your client must:

  • have already signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT
  • use the link to respond to your request before it expires

7. Authorise your software

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

Ask your software supplier if you do not know how.

Published 8 February 2019
Last updated 20 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added translation

  2. Section 6 updated to 'Ask new clients to authorise you'.

  3. A new section has been added about 'How to manage your client's details'.

  4. Added translation

  5. Added translation

  6. Sign your client up at least 72 hours before their VAT Return is due, or 7 working days before if they pay by Direct Debit.

  7. Businesses need to sign up for Making Tax Digital at least one week before their VAT Return is due.

  8. First published.