Guidance

Sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT

Sign up your own business (or your client's) for Making Tax Digital for VAT after you've got the right software.

Most VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 need to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

When to sign up

If you (or your client) do not pay VAT 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.

Sign up your client’s business if you’re an agent

What you’ll need

If you’re an agent signing up a client, you’ll need:

Sign up your client’s business

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

How to manage your client’s details

Once you have created an agent services account you can use the manage your client’s details online service to update your existing client’s business details and cancel their VAT registration.

Find out how to authorise new clients for your agent services account.

Sign up your own business

What you’ll need

You’ll need:

Sign up your own business

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

After you sign up

HMRC will send you a confirmation email within 72 hours of signing up. The email will come from noreply@tax.service.gov.uk and will not ask you for any financial information. If you do not receive it, check your spam folder.

Do not submit a VAT Return until you receive the confirmation email.

The deadlines and frequency of your VAT Returns and payments will not change.

Managing your VAT account

You can still use your VAT online account to:

  • view deadlines
  • manage payments
  • print your VAT certificate

If you’re an agent, the way you manage your client’s VAT account is different.

Sending your VAT Return

Send your return using software.

Your software will confirm that HMRC has received your return. You will not receive a confirmation email from HMRC.

To view a completed return, sign into your VAT online account.

Paying by Direct Debit

If you usually pay VAT by Direct Debit, you do not need to set up a new one. HMRC will transfer your Direct Debit to the new system.

You’ll get an email and a message in your VAT online account at least 3 days before HMRC takes the payment from your account. If you’ve made any other payments to your VAT bill, your Direct Debit will be reduced.

Get help

Check what else you need to do for Making Tax Digital for VAT if you’re:

If you need help signing up, you can:

Published 8 February 2019
Last updated 13 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. A new section about 'How to manage your client's details' has been added.
  2. The link to sign up your client's business has been updated.
  3. This guide has been amended to include information on what happens when you send in your VAT Return using software.
  4. You can print your VAT certificate out by signing in to your VAT online account. If you usually pay VAT by Direct Debit, you do not need to set up a new one. The information you need before you sign up has been updated.
  5. 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.
  6. The information you'll need to sign up has been updated and is different depending on what type of customer you are.
  7. Businesses that currently pay VAT by Direct Debit cannot sign up in the 7 working days leading up to, or the 5 working days after their VAT Return is due.
  8. Businesses that pay VAT by Direct Debit cannot sign up in the 7 working days leading up to, or the 5 working days after sending a VAT Return.
  9. The link for agents to sign up clients for Making Tax Digital for VAT has been updated.
  10. First published.