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Category: Making Tax Digital

Extension of Making Tax Digital for VAT

Extension of Making Tax Digital for VAT

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT is currently only compulsory for VAT-registered businesses whose turnover for VAT is above the VAT registration limit of £85,000. However, this is set to change from April 2022.

Extension to all VAT-registered businesses

Currently, if you are registered for VAT, but your turnover for VAT purposes is less than the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, you can join MTD for VAT voluntarily.

From 1 April 2022 onwards, MTD for VAT will become compulsory for all VAT-registered businesses, regardless of their turnover. If you are registered for VAT, your turnover is below the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 and you have not joined MTD for VAT voluntarily, MTD for VAT will apply to you from the start of your first VAT accounting period which begins on or after 1 April 2022.

Getting ready

If you will fall within the scope of MTD for VAT on or after April 2022, you will need to plan ahead. Under MTD for VAT, you must maintain digital VAT records and file your VAT returns using MTD-compatible software. HMRC publish details of compatible software packages which can be used.

You will also need to sign up for MTD for VAT.

We can help

We can help you get ready for MTD for VAT. Why not get in touch?

October 23, 2021

Basis period reform

Basis period reform

HMRC have been consulting on the reform of the basis period rules in preparation for the introduction of Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD ITSA), which comes into effect from April 2023. A consultation paper was published in July 2021, which sets out new simplified basis period rules. Comments were sought by 31 August 2021 on how best to implement the reforms.

Existing rules – the current year basis

Once an unincorporated business is established, it is taxed on the current year basis. Special rules apply in the opening and closing years of the business. Under the current year basis, the profits that are taxed for a particular tax year are those for the accounting period that ends in that tax year. Consequently, if the business prepares its accounts to 30 June each year, for the 2021/22 tax year, it will be taxed on its profits for the year to 30 June 2021, as this is the year that ends between 6 April 2021 and 5 April 2022.

Under the existing rules, some of the profits of the business may be taxed twice in the opening years. These profits are known as ‘overlap’ profits. Relief for the double taxation of these profits, known as ‘overlap relief’, is given when the business ceases, or earlier if there is a change of accounting date.

New rules – tax year basis

The reforms will mean that unincorporated businesses will be taxed on the profits arising in the tax year – i.e., the profits for the period from 6 April to the following 5 April. Where the business prepares accounts to 31 March, these will be deemed to correspond to the tax year (as will the preparation of accounts to any date between 31 March and 5 April).

If you prepare accounts to a date other than 31 March/5 April, you will need to apportion your profits so that they correspond to the tax year. For example, if you prepare your accounts to 30 June, for 2023/24, you will be taxed on 3/12th of the profit for the year to 30 June 2023 (covering the period from 6 April 2023 to 30 June 2023) plus 9/12th of the profit for the year to 30 June 2024 (covering the period from 1 July 2023 to 5 April 2024).

The tax year basis will apply from 2023/24, with 2022/23 being a transitional year.

Estimation of profits

If you have an accounting date late in the tax year and prepare accounts other than to 31 March/5 April, you may not have the second set of accounts available when you come to complete your tax return. For example, if you prepare your accounts to 28 February, for 2023/24 you will be taxed on 11/12th of your profit for the year to 28 February 2024 and 1/12th of your profit for the year to 28 February 2025. The accounts to 28 February 2025 will not be available by 31 January 2025, and you would be expected to file a provisional return, which would be amended later when the information is available.

This will create extra work, and HMRC are looking at alternative estimation approaches, such as making an estimate based on the profits for the quarterly updates submitted under MTD ITSA, extrapolating the profits for the ‘known’ part of the tax year, and allowing the final figures to be provided as part of the following year’s return.

To overcome this, you may prefer to change your accounting date and prepare accounts to 31 March/5 April. This will avoid the need for an apportionment calculation and reduce your workload.

Transitional rules

Transitional rules are needed to move from the current year basis to the tax year basis. The transition year is 2022/23.

For the transition year, the taxable profits for a business that does not have a 31 March/5 April year end will comprise the sum of:

  • the standard component (which is the profit assessable in 2022/23 under the current year basis); and
  • the transition component (which is the profit for the period from the end of the current year basis period to the end of the 2022/23 tax year).

Any historic overlap relief can be claimed in the transition year by deducting overlap profits from the result of the above calculation.

For example, if you prepare accounts to 30 June each year, for 2022/2023, you will be taxed on the profits for the year to 30 June 2022 (the basis period for 2022/23 under the current year basis) plus profits for the period from 1 July 2022 to 5 April 2023 (the transition component), less any overlap profits. The overlap relief will cover the period from the date on which the business started to the following 5 April.  

Spreading excess profits

In the transition year, your profits may be higher than normal. This will be the case if your transition component is more than your overlap relief. If you started your business some time ago, the impact of inflation may mean that your overlap profits are considerably less than the profits of the transition component, even if they both cover the same number of months. If your profits are higher than normal, your tax bill will also be higher, and you may pay tax at a higher marginal rate as a result.

To mitigate the effect of the transition year on cash flow, HMRC plan to allow businesses to elect to spread any excess profits in the transition year over five years.

Equivalence rules

As part of the simplification reforms, HMRC propose that the statutory rule which deems 31 March to be equivalent to 5 April in the first three years of a trade is extended so that it applies to all the years of the trade. This will mean that where accounts are prepared to 31 March, the business would not need to make small adjustments for the profits of the business to correspond to the tax year, which runs to 5 April. The consultation sought views on whether this equivalence rule should be extended to property businesses.  

We can help

Please talk to us about what the reforms will mean for your business, and what you need to do to prepare for the introduction of MTD ITSA.

September 6, 2021

MTD for corporation tax

MTD for corporation tax

The Government would like to hear your views on proposals for a new process for keeping records for corporation tax purposes and reporting tax information to HMRC, known as Making Tax Digital (MTD). Your comments will help ensure that the design makes it as easy as possible for smaller businesses to comply when the rules are introduced.

The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 5 March 2021.

March 2, 2021

Making Tax Digital – the next steps

Making Tax Digital – the next steps

On 21 July, the Treasury published a report, Building a trusted, modern tax administration system, which sets out the Government’s vision of what they wish to achieve in the next ten years. The vision comprises three elements – policy, systems and law and practice. The ‘policy’ vision means a progressive extension of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) work, the ‘systems’ vision means exploring the appropriate timing and frequency for the payment of the different taxes and the technology infrastructure needed to support this, and the ‘law and practice’ vision means reform of the tax administration framework itself.

Extension of MTD

HMRC’s MTD programme is currently in the initial roll-out phase for VAT. Since April 2019, MTD for VAT (MTDfV) is mandatory for most VAT-registered traders whose VAT-taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000. As a result of a recent Government announcement, the next phase will be to extend the scope of MTD to the VAT registered with turnover below £85,000 from April 2022 and then to introduce MTD for Income Tax for the self-employed and unincorporated landlords from April 2023.

MTD for VAT

MTDfV is compulsory for VAT-registered traders whose taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000. Traders within its scope must maintain digital VAT records and file digital returns using MTD-compliant software. However, the requirement for digital links to be in place between all parts of process has been delayed by one year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now apply from the first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021. A digital link is simply the transfer or exchange of information between software programmes without the need for manual input of data.

MTD for Income Tax

Businesses and landlords with annual business income chargeable to Income Tax of more than £10,000 will need to comply with MTD for Income Tax from the start of their first accounting period that starts on or after 6 April 2023. This will necessitate the keeping of digital records and the use of software to send in-year updates of their income and expenditure to HMRC, at least quarterly, instead of filing annual post year end information when submitting a self-assessment tax return.

In addition to the four ‘in-year’ updates, at the end of the accounting period the taxpayer will need to finalise their business income by filing a final adjusting submission and making a declaration that it combined with the earlier submissions is correct. The final declaration will replace the current self-assessment return filed after the end of the tax year.

More information about MTD for income tax can be found on the Gov.uk website.

MTD for Corporation Tax

HMRC are to consult later in 2020 on the design of the MTD system for Corporation Tax to ensure that the MTD process evolves to include limited companies.

Help and advice

We can help you prepare for and comply with MTD.

July 30, 2020

Making Tax Digital – soft landing extension

Making Tax Digital – soft landing extension

One-year extension for MTDfV soft landing

In a welcome response to COVID-19, HMRC has extended its digital links ‘soft landing period’ by twelve months to April 2021.

HMRC Email

In a widely distributed email issued on 30 March 2020, HMRC stated:

“We understand that the impact of COVID-19 is creating extremely difficult times for all, and we are committed to helping in every way possible all those businesses facing unprecedented challenges.

Therefore, we are providing all MTD businesses with more time to put in place digital links between all parts of their functional compatible software. This means that all businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.”

Digital journey

From April 2019, once those mandated to comply with VAT MTD have entered accounting data into their business’s accounting software, they have been required to transfer, recapture or modify that data using digital links. Effectively, once VAT data has been digitally captured the rest of its journey until the submission of a VAT return must be a digital journey, without manual intervention.

Soft landing

HMRC recognised that not all businesses would have digital links in place from day one and allowed a period of grace, the ‘soft landing period’. HMRC promised that, where businesses were trying to meet the statutory digital end to end journey during the ‘soft landing period’, the department would not impose penalties for non-compliance.

The effect of the ‘soft landing’ announcement meant that for the first year of mandation, businesses are not required to have digital links between software programs.

For most, MTD for VAT rules have applied from VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2019. Although there was a smaller group where mandation was deferred until the start of the first VAT return period on or after 1 October 2020.

What it means

All businesses mandated to comply with MTD for VAT now have until their first VAT return period, starting on or after 1 April 2021, to put digital links in place.

Given the coronavirus related troubles affecting practically all businesses in the UK, this extension to the ‘soft-landing period’ is another sensible easement that is to be much welcomed.

April 16, 2020