Sign up your client for Making Tax Digital for VAT

Find out how to sign up your client and what to do after you've signed up.

All VAT-registered businesses that have a taxable turnover above £85,000 must now follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT. Check when a VAT registered business must follow the rules.

The way you sign your own business up is different.

Before you start

Before you sign up your client, you’ll need:

If your client is already authorised on your HMRC online services for agents account, you’ll need to copy your client across to your agent services account before you sign them up.

What you’ll need

To sign up your client up you’ll need your own email address, and their:

  • VAT certificate
  • business entity type (this is not required for overseas companies with no UK establishment)
  • contact details
  • business email address

You’ll also need extra information depending on the type of business you’re signing up. For:

  • sole traders – their National Insurance number
  • limited companies or registered societies – their company registration number and Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for Corporation Tax
  • limited partnerships – their company registration number, UTR and postcode where they’re registered for Self Assessment
  • general partnerships – their UTR and postcode where they’re registered for Self Assessment

Sign up your client’s business

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

Sign up now

After you’ve signed up

You’ll receive a confirmation email from within 72 hours of signing up. If you do not receive it, check your spam folder. Do not submit a VAT Return until you receive a confirmation email.

If you’ve signed up a new client, you’ll need to authorise them before you can use your agent services account to submit returns.

Manage your client’s account

Use the manage your client’s details service to update their business details, print their VAT certificate or cancel their VAT registration.

Your client can still use their VAT online account to view deadlines, manage payments, print VAT certificates and view completed VAT Returns.

Sending a VAT Return

Send returns using software. The deadlines and frequency of your client’s VAT Returns and payments will not change.

Your software will confirm that HMRC has received a return, you will not receive confirmation directly from HMRC.

Your client can see completed VAT Returns by signing into their VAT online account.

Paying by Direct Debit

If your client already pays VAT by Direct Debit, you do not need to set a new one up. If not, you can set up a Direct Debit.

Your client will get an email and message in their VAT online account at least 3 days before HMRC takes the payment from their account. If they’ve made any other payments to their VAT bill, their Direct Debit will be reduced.

Published 8 February 2019
Last updated 26 November 2019 + show all updates
  1. You can use the online service to sign your client up after they've opted out.

  2. The content for businesses signing themselves up has moved to a different page titled 'Sign your business up for Making Tax Digital for VAT'. The URL is

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

  4. The link to sign up your client's business has been updated.

  5. This guide has been amended to include information on what happens when you send in your VAT Return using software.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The information you'll need to sign up has been updated and is different depending on what type of customer you are.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The link for agents to sign up clients for Making Tax Digital for VAT has been updated.

  12. First published.