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Frequently Asked Question (FAQ’s)

Why do I need MTDfVAT?2020-01-17T12:51:55+01:00

From April 1st 2019 your VAT returns must be submitted electronically to HMRC via approved software. Your VAT records must be maintained digitally, and the VAT data must be submitted in MTD-compliant format. MTDfVAT allows you to do this.


What is MTD for VAT?2020-01-17T12:53:15+01:00

MTD stands for Making Tax Digital. It is part of HMRC’s ambition to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.

From April 1st 2019 (or October 1st 2019 for deferred entities), businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold need to:

  • Keep and store their VAT records digitally
  • Send VAT returns to HMRC using Making Tax Digital software
Which businesses are affected by MTD for VAT?2020-01-17T12:54:04+01:00

VAT registered businesses and entities with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold will be affected by MTD for VAT.

Which version of MTDfVAT do I need?2020-01-17T12:57:17+01:00

There are two versions of MTDfVAT:

  • Individual – for Individuals and Sole Traders
  • Company – for Limited Companies or Liability Limited Partnerships (turnover below £5m with one VAT number)
How do I buy MTDfVAT?2020-01-17T12:58:45+01:00

Choose your version on our purchasing page. After you’ve purchased, we will send you all the details you need to get started, including your VAT receipt, full instructions, and your secure login details to our online submission hub.

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

Please refer to our helpful guides in the Documentation section.

How can I contact your Support team?2020-01-17T13:00:59+01:00

We provide email support between 9 am and 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. You can get in touch with the team by emailing

How secure is my data in MTDfVAT?2020-01-17T13:01:57+01:00

Your data is secured in a UK based server database which only your authorised user can access. Your access is secured with your individual login and password.

Is MTD for VAT mandatory?2020-01-17T13:02:45+01:00

Yes, MTD for VAT is mandatory for UK VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold.

How much does MTDfVAT cost?2020-01-17T14:00:48+01:00

Both the Company and Individual versions are £50 + VAT per year.

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How do I send you feedback?2020-01-17T14:01:58+01:00

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

How do I login to MTDfVAT2020-01-17T14:02:49+01:00

To log in to MTDfVAT, please follow this link.

Once you have logged in you can view your VAT obligations and submit your VAT return to HMRC. You can also see the history of your MTD for VAT returns, payments, and refunds.

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

Can the 9 box VAT Return be filled in manually?2020-01-17T14:03:35+01:00

You cannot enter the data manually. There must be a digital audit trail using functional compatible software such as Excel to show how you reached the nine VAT totals. For more information, please see HMRC’s details on MTD for VAT.

What is Digital Record-Keeping?2020-01-17T14:04:49+01:00

MTD for VAT is more than filing VAT returns using compatible software. Digital record-keeping means having digital income and expenditure records. This can include keeping records in Excel and using bridging software to transfer the data to HMRC, or using bookkeeping software.

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?2020-01-17T14:05:41+01:00

Only the total for each amendment or adjustment is required, not the detail of the underlying calculation. For more information see HMRC’s MTD for VAT page.

What if I account for VAT using the Flat Rate Scheme?2020-01-17T14:06:31+01:00

You can import your VAT return as normal, based on Flat Rate Scheme calculations. You can use our template but will have to edit the calculations so they include the Flat Rate Scheme. For more information, see HMRC’s Flat Rate Scheme page.

Do I have to use your Excel template?2020-01-17T14:08:29+01:00

You can use your own Excel spreadsheet alongside our Excel add-in tool, as long as you have the 9-box totals.

How do I set our VAT quarter end date?2020-01-17T14:10:12+01:00

You can set your VAT quarter end date by going to Home > Edit > VAT Period End. Then choose your period end date from the drop-down list.


Can I enter a negative amount for the net VAT due in box 5?2020-01-17T14:11:41+01:00

Your Net VAT Due must be equal to the difference between the Total VAT Due and the VAT Reclaimed Current Period. This will always be a positive value. HMRC will use boxes 1 and 4 o determine if it’s a payment or a refund.

Why am I unable to submit after saving the VAT return?2020-01-17T14:13:07+01:00

You have to be in Edit mode to submit the VAT return.

How do I resolve error code 403 (Unable to return obligation data)?2020-01-17T14:15:05+01:00

This is an HMRC error code. As an individual or business using MTDfVAT, you must have subscribed to the MTD for VAT service with HMRC. If you haven’t signed up yet then you will encounter error 403. Please follow this link to sign up to MTD for VAT.

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

Which versions of Excel work with the MTD Excel Add-In?2020-01-17T14:15:50+01:00

Mac: Excel 2016 and up

Windows: Excel 2010 and up (including 2019)

Do individual transactions have to be uploaded with the VAT return?2020-01-17T14:17:49+01:00

Initially, HMRC wanted all underlying data to be submitted with the totals, however now this is not the case. All that is being transmitted in MTD-compliant format is the final 9 VAT totals.

Will I need new Government Gateway credentials for MTD?2020-01-17T14:18:38+01:00

You can use your current Government Gateway login but should use this link to sign in.

Why are boxes 6 and 8 being rounded?2020-01-17T14:20:10+01:00

HMRC don’t allow pennies in the totals, boxes 6 and 8, so this is rounded automatically to comply with HMRC requirements. You can find out more from HMRC here.

Will you send me a VAT invoice?2020-01-17T14:21:18+01:00

When you complete your purchase of MTDfVAT, you will receive an email with your VAT invoice attached. The subject line will be “Invoice [number] Thank you for your order.”

Do you have a getting started guide?2020-01-17T14:22:15+01:00

Our MTDfVAT Quick Start Guide is available to download. Click here.

How do I install the MTDfVAT Excel Add-in?2020-01-17T14:22:47+01:00

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 with Excel spreadsheets?2020-01-17T14:24:38+01:00

We have an add-in available which allows you to transfer the data from a spreadsheet into MTDfVAT to submit directly to HMRC.

This video demonstrates the add-in:

Can MTDfVAT handle non-standard VAT quarter dates?2020-01-17T14:26:19+01:00

VAT reporting dates will not be affected by MTD for VAT. Businesses will report their quarters by the same deadlines. MTDfVAT can handle these dates.

Can I see an example of the CSV import?2020-01-17T14:27:04+01:00

You can download the example file here.

Is bridging software valid after the 12 month soft landing period?2020-01-17T14:27:57+01:00

HMRC recognise bridging software as an important form of digital transfer, and it will be accepted for MTD for VAT returns beyond the soft landing period.

Can I use spreadsheets for digital record keeping?2020-01-17T14:29:13+01:00

HMRC recognise spreadsheets as an acceptable form of digital record keeping. This will be accepted beyond the soft landing period.

Can I make adjustments to the VAT data after export from my bookkeeping software?2020-01-17T14:30:20+01:00

Some more complex VAT adjustments, for example, Flat Rate Scheme, must be made outside of bookkeeping software after the base data has been exported to a spreadsheet. Any adjustments must be recorded in the spreadsheet to preserve the digital record.

Do I need to upgrade my older legacy bookkeeping software to be MTD for VAT compliant?2020-01-17T14:32:19+01:00

Any record keeping software can be used provided it keeps the individual transactions in digital form and can transfer the data in digital form to an MTD enabled bridging software.

Does my specialist record keeping software have to interact directly with HMRC for MTD?2020-01-17T14:32:54+01:00

Almost any software can interact directly with HMRC for MTD, but it’s a lot of work to do so. It is acceptable to use bridging software to submit the MTD for VAT return to HMRC.

Is a CSV data file transfer a digital link?2019-03-06T11:32:54+01:00

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?2020-01-17T14:34:06+01:00

Once you have submitted your first MTD for 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 deregister for VAT.

How do I resolve error code 500 (Internal Server Error)?2020-01-17T14:34:50+01:00

This error is displayed when the customer has not waited 72 hours for their VAT information to be migrated to the MTD service. This means that when the software attempts to call an obligation there is no data to return.

HMRC recommend that agents and businesses should only attempt to submit a VAT return once they have received the email to confirm they are now under MTD. If they are still receiving an error after 72 hours they should report it to HMRC.

Can MTDfVAT handle multiple consolidated data sources?2020-01-17T14:35:21+01:00

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 multiple spreadsheets concerning a single company (such as for online operations versus over-the-counter sales operations).

Are consolidated company group submissions supported?2020-01-17T14:35:49+01:00

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

Is there a version of MTDfVAT for businesses?2020-01-17T14:38:13+01:00

You can sign up for MTDfVAT as a business to manage your VAT obligations under Making Tax Digital rules. However, if your turnover is over £5m or you manage a group of companies for VAT, you should consider BTCHub instead.

Does the software licence run on an annual basis?2020-01-17T14:39:03+01:00

Your licence runs for 12 months from the point of purchase.

Business Authorisation with HMRC for MTD for VAT2020-01-17T14:40:49+01:00

First, you will need to arrange MTD for VAT software (MTDfVAT). Then, sign up with HMRC. You will need:

  • Sole Trader: your National Insurance number
  • Limited Company or Registered Society: your company registration number and your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) for Corporation Tax
  • Limited Partnership: your partnership’s company registration number, UTR, and postcode where you’re registered for Self-Assessment
  • General Partnership: your partnership’s UTR and postcode where you’re registered for Self-Assessment
Useful Making Tax Digital HMRC links2020-01-17T14:41:49+01:00

Businesses can find information here.
Agents can find information here.
Find the VAT Notice and Policy Paper here.
Updated communications from HMRC can be found here.
Get help from HMRC here.

Are there any MTD for VAT exemptions?2020-01-17T14:42:21+01:00

It is possible to apply for an exemption from HMRC if:

  • You cannot use computers, software, or the internet because of your age, a disability, or where you live
  • You object to using computers on religious grounds

Automatic exemption applies if:

  • You’re already exempt from filing VAT Returns online
  • Your taxable turnover is below the VAT threshold
  • You or your business are subject to an insolvency procedure
Does my current VAT filing date change?2020-01-17T14:42:52+01:00

Currently, VAT filing dates remain as they were before the introduction of MTD for VAT.

MTDfVAT Video Demo2020-01-17T14:43:41+01:00

Click here for our on-demand MTD for VAT webinar featuring a demonstration of MTDfVAT.

How do I import VAT figures using Excel?2020-01-17T14:46:34+01:00

The MTDfVAT add-in for Excel allows you to define your VAT information in a spreadsheet and digitally transfer the data to MTDfVAT for compliant submission to HMRC. We also provide a template spreadsheet for digital records if you are not currently using Excel or bookkeeping software.

How do I import VAT figures using a CSV?2020-01-17T14:47:23+01:00

The import CSV file option allows for digital transfer of VAT data to MTDfVAT from legacy sales and bookkeeping software. Export your data as a CSV file and use the easy import function to upload the file to MTDfVAT.

Why choose MTDfVAT?2020-01-17T14:48:06+01:00

MTDfVAT has been tested at HMRC and listed as MTD for VAT Compliant.

  • Validate and submit VAT data to HMRC
  • VAT dashboard view of obligations
  • Excel and Spreadsheet friendly
  • Integrate with bookkeeping software
  • Import using CSV from legacy software
  • User-friendly
What are the features of MTDfVAT?2020-01-17T14:57:34+01:00
  • Validate and submit VAT data to HMRC
  • VAT dashboard view of obligations
  • Excel and Spreadsheet friendly
  • Integrate with bookkeeping software
  • Import using CSV from legacy software
  • User-friendly
What is the soft landing period?2020-04-20T14:25:16+01:00

Updated: The soft landing period has been extended until April 2021 to help businesses deal with the Coronavirus crisis.

When MTD for VAT launched, HMRC allowed a period of adjustment for businesses. The soft-landing period runs until April 2020 and provides flexibility while businesses put their MTD for VAT solution in place. Please note that this is at HMRC’s discretion, so it’s best to get started with MTD for VAT as soon as possible.

With which bookkeeping software does MTDfVAT integrate?2020-01-17T14:58:43+01:00

MTDfVAT integrates with most major bookkeeping software and accepts files in CSV format. You can also use our template to maintain digital records and our add-in to export from Excel to MTDfVAT.

“Unable to lock Client record” Error2020-04-30T13:07:48+01:00

Please make sure you are logged out of MTDfVAT if you are exporting from Excel.

Also, ensure you are not editing this record in another tab or browser window. If so, please save, undo or discard your changes as appropriate.

I have renewed my MTDfVAT licence, but the software still says “Unlicenced”2020-05-15T16:22:03+01:00

Once you have renewed your MTDfVAT licence, you can easily remove the “Unlicenced” status message by refreshing the page, navigating to another page, or waiting 60 seconds at which point it will automatically update the status.

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

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