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Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s)

Why do I need MTDfVAT?2019-01-18T10:43:36+00:00

From the 1st of April 2019, your VAT returns must be submitted electronically to HMRC via approved software. Your VAT records need to be maintained digitally and the VAT data needs to be submitted in an MTD-compliant format.

You can do this using MTDfVAT (MTD Functional Compatible Software).

What are these UK HMRC MTD VAT changes you speak of?2019-01-18T10:43:30+00:00

Making Tax Digital for VAT will come into effect from the 1st of April 2019. From that date, businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to:

  • Keep their records digitally (for VAT purposes only)
  • Provide their VAT return information to HMRC Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through Making Tax Digital (MTD) functional compatible software.
Does this affect everyone?2019-01-18T10:43:24+00:00

From the 1st of April 2019, Making Tax Digital is mandated for all businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) (except those that have been deferred).

From October 2019, Making Tax Digital is mandated for customers that have been deferred. The 6-month deferral applies to customers who fall into one of the following categories: trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations that are not set up as a company, VAT divisions, VAT groups, those public sector entities required to provide additional information on their VAT return (Government departments, NHS Trusts), local authorities, public corporations, traders based overseas, those required to make payments on account and annual accounting scheme users. The deferral will apply to around 3.5% of mandated customers.

How long do I have to get this done?2019-01-18T10:43:13+00:00

You have until the 1st of April 2019 to get ready for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT.

What do I have to do next?2019-01-16T12:09:56+00:00

Go to our purchasing page, decide which version of MTDfVAT you need,  then place your order.

Which version of MTDfVAT do I need?2019-01-16T12:09:51+00:00

We have two versions of MTDfVAT: These are ‘MTDfVAT Individual’ for individuals and Sole Traders, and also ‘MTDfVAT Company’ for Limited companies or Limited Liability Partnerships.

How do I buy it?2019-01-16T12:09:41+00:00

Simply choose your applicable version on our purchasing page. After you’ve purchased, you will be sent all the details you need to get started, including your VAT receipt, full instructions, and your secure login details to our online submissions’ hub.

How do I use MTDfVAT?2019-01-16T12:09:34+00:00

Please refer to our helpful guides in the Documentation section.

What happens if something goes wrong?2019-01-16T12:09:29+00:00

If you have looked through the FAQ’s and still can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us using the contact form. We will contact you by email as soon as one of our staff is free to handle your request.

Is it safe?2019-01-16T10:21:29+00:00

Yes,  MTDfVAT is safe. MTDfVAT is hosted on our secure cloud servers. It uses HTTPS encryption and enforced strong password logins. The service is available 24/7/365.

Is it absolutely necessary?2019-01-18T10:42:47+00:00

Yes, it is. Businesses must use an MTD functional compatible software to file their MTD for VAT returns from the 1st of April 2019 onwards, except those that have been deferred.

How much is it again?2019-01-16T12:08:52+00:00

It is £50 + VAT for Single Companies, Individuals (Sole Traders and the Self-Employed).
Buy Here

Can I send you some feedback?2019-01-16T12:08:10+00:00

You can send us any feedback or suggestions using our contact form.

How do I login to MTDfVAT2019-01-18T10:42:14+00:00

To log in to MTDfVAT, please click on this link. Once logged in, you are able to view your business’s VAT obligations and submit these to HMRC. You are also able to view the history of MTD for VAT returns, payments and refunds.

Please note you will not be able to see VAT data submitted prior to signing up for MTD for VAT.

Can the 9 box VAT Return be filled in manually?2019-01-21T09:46:51+00:00

No, there needs to be a digital audit trail, using functional compatible software such as Excel. Showing how you came to those 9 VAT totals. For more information, please click this link from the HMRC

Which records do I need to keep digital copies of?2019-01-21T09:46:43+00:00

HMRC have listed which records must be kept, maintained and preserved in digital form. For more information, please click this link from the HMRC

When making an amendment to the digital record, do I need to keep the calculations?2019-01-21T09:46:37+00:00

Only the total for each type of adjustment is required, not details of the calculations underlying them. For more information, please click this link from the HMRC

What if I account for VAT using the Flat Rate Scheme?2019-01-21T09:39:37+00:00

You would import your VAT Return as normal, based on a flat rate scheme calculation. You can use our template but be aware you would need to edit our calculations so that they include the Flat Rate. For more information, please use this link from the HMRC

Do I have to use your example Excel file?2019-01-21T09:48:32+00:00

No, the main advantage of the MTD add-in tool is that it can be used on any Excel file. If it has the 9 box VAT Return, the cells can be defined using the tool.

How do I choose when our VAT quarter ends?2019-01-21T10:01:40+00:00

You can do this by going to Home > [Edit] > VAT Period End: > You can then choose your period end from the drop-down list.


Can I enter a negative amount for the Net VAT Due (Box 5)?2019-01-21T10:03:59+00:00

No, the Net VAT Due must be equal to the difference between the Total VAT Due and VAT Reclaimed Current Period. This will always be a positive number. HMRC will see from boxes 1 and 4 if it’s a payment or refund.

After I save the VAT Return, I am unable to submit?2019-01-21T15:39:40+00:00

You have to click the [Edit] button, in order to submit the VAT Return.

Error Code: 403 error (Unable to return obligation data from HMRC’s Making Tax Digital API Error)2019-04-02T09:46:41+00:00

HMRC investigations have shown that the reason is one of the following:

  • The agent didn’t use their agent services account (ASA) credentials to link MTD VAT software
  • The agent hasn’t signed up to the ASA
  • The agent has signed up but has not linked their clients
  • The agent has signed up and linked clients but the customer hasn’t subscribed to the Making Tax Digital service.
  • The business hasn’t signed subscribed to the Making Tax Digital service.

The agent step-by-step guide was specifically designed to help guide agents through the various steps, HMRC recommends that all agents use it when signing up to the service.

This is an HMRC error. It may mean that you have not completed the full journey to create an MTD Account or are using incorrect credentials.

If you are an Individual:

Please use the following link to sign up for MTD, if you have not done so already

There could also be an issue with the HMRC MTD service.


Which versions of Excel does the MTD Excel Add In work for?2019-07-08T12:54:35+00:00

For the Mac version of the Add-in, it is Excel 2016 upwards.

For the Windows version of the Add-in, it is Excel 2010 and upwards, including the newly announced Excel 2019.

Do individual transactions need to be uploaded to complete the VAT return?2019-01-22T14:39:46+00:00

Although initially, HMRC wanted the underlying data to be submitted as well as the totals, this is now not the case. All that is being submitted is the final 9 VAT totals.

Will I need new gateway credentials for MTD?2019-01-23T08:53:05+00:00

You would use your existing gateway credentials, but you would use this link from the HMRC to sign in

Boxes 6 and 8 are being rounded up, is this right?2019-07-03T10:47:28+00:00

Yes, this is correct. HMRC don’t allow pennies in the totals (Boxes 6 and 8), so this is rounded by our system automatically to comply with HMRC requirements.

You can see more information about this from the HMRC.

Round the pence down to the nearest pound

have just completed a purchase of your software. Please can you send us a VAT invoice for it?2019-02-13T14:11:34+00:00

You would have received an email with your order, with the subject:

Invoice *Invoice Number* Thank you for your order.

That is a valid VAT Invoice.

MTDfVAT Quick Start Guide2019-02-14T09:04:39+00:00

Creating the MTD for VAT Return.

A Quick Start Guide for Single Businesses & Individuals/Sole Traders.

MTDfVAT Quick Start Guide – PDF

How do I install the MTDfVAT Excel Add-in?2019-02-21T15:24:25+00:00

Please see the video below on how to install the MTDfVAT Excel Add-in:

Installing the MTDfVAT Excel Add-in for Windows

Does MTDfVAT link into excel spreadsheets?2019-03-04T10:03:54+00:00

Yes, we have an add-in within our software enabling you to transfer the data from a spreadsheet into a 9 box VAT return to submit directly to HMRC.

Feel free to view a video highlighting the Excel Integration:

BTCSoftware’s MTD for VAT Solution – Excel Integration

I have non-standard VAT quarter dates – will the software be able to deal with this?2019-03-04T10:05:00+00:00

Yes. VAT reporting dates won’t be changed. Businesses will report their VAT information by the same deadlines. There will be no requirement to change VAT quarters to align with accounting periods if those quarters do not already align

Do you have an example of the CSV import?2019-03-05T14:54:31+00:00

Yes, we do. you can download it below:

Excel CSV File


Can I use bridging software after the 12-month soft-landing period?2019-03-06T11:20:12+00:00

HMRC recognise the need for bridging software as an important form of digital transfer and it is not just for the soft-landing period.

Can I use spreadsheets for digital record keeping?2019-03-06T11:20:57+00:00

In the very early days of MTD HMRC did try to prevent the use of spreadsheets. However, HMRC now recognises spreadsheets as an acceptable form of digital record keeping. Again, this is not just for the soft-landing period.

Can I make adjustments to the VAT data once exported from the bookkeeping software?2019-03-06T11:27:06+00:00

HMRC recognise that some of the more complex VAT adjustments, e.g. Flate Rate Scheme must be made outside of bookkeeping software, generally, once the base data has been exported to a spreadsheet. Any such adjustment must be documented in the spreadsheet to preserve the digital trail.

Do I have to submit all of the transactions that makes up the VAT return to HMRC?2019-03-06T11:28:58+00:00

In the very early days of MTD, HMRC were hoping to collect, in real time, every individual account posting made in every accounting package by every business in the land. That is no longer the case and for MTD for VAT, HMRC only want the nine boxes of numerical data that make up the VAT return.

Do I have to upgrade my older bookkeeping package to use MTD enabled cloud accounting bookkeeping software?2019-03-06T11:29:52+00:00

Any record keeping software can be used provided it keeps the individual transactions in a digital form and it can transfer the VAT return data in digital form (e.g. CSV file or API link) to MTD enabled bridging software.

Does my specialist record keeping software have to interact directly with HMRC for MTD?2019-03-06T11:30:31+00:00

Almost any software can interact directly the HMRC for MTD but it’s a fair amount of work to do this. It is perfectly acceptable for your specialist record keeping software to utilise bridging software to submit the MTD VAT return to HMRC.

Can I can just type in the nine boxes of data?2019-03-06T11:32:18+00:00

To comply with MTD for VAT you must keep your accounting transactions in a digital format and the transactional data must be used to automatically calculate the 9 boxes of the VAT return.

Is a CSV data file transfer a digital link?2019-03-06T11:32:54+00:00

HMRC recognise a CSV file as an acceptable form of digital link between the record keeping software and the MTD submission software.

Can I leave MTD for VAT when I like?2019-03-06T11:35:57+00:00

Once you have submitted your first MTD VAT return you cannot go back to the old VAT 100 submissions, even if you fall below the VAT registration threshold. The only way to leave is to de-register for VAT.

Error Code: 500 (Internal Server Error)2019-04-02T09:34:00+00:00

HMRC has found that this error is returned where the customer has not waited the recommended 72 hours for their record to be migrated to the MTD service. This means when they attempt to call an obligation there is no record for us to return.

HMRC recommend:

– Agents and customers should only attempt to submit a VAT return once they have received the email confirming the customer is now in MTD.
– If, after 72 hours, they are still receiving an error, they should report it to HMRC.

Can MTDfVAT handle multiple consolidated data sources?2019-10-21T04:51:10+00:00

Yes, as of October 2019, the latest software version can automatically consolidate multiple data sources. For example, for different companies within a larger group enterprise, or for multiple spreadsheets concerning a single company (such as for online operations verses over-the-counter sales operations).

Are consolidated company group submissions supported?2019-10-21T04:51:31+00:00

Yes, as of October 2019, the latest software version can automatically consolidate multiple data sources for different companies within a larger group enterprise.

Read through our guides on how to set up and use MTDfVAT

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If you have looked through the FAQ’s above and still can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us using the form (right). We will contact you by email as soon as one of our staff is free to handle your request. Thank you.


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