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UK MTD pilot goes public; Oct 2019 groups & non-resident delay

  • Oct 16, 2018 | Richard Asquith

UK MTD pilot goes public; Oct 2019 groups & non-resident delay

HMRC announced today that it is opening the test pilot for its Making Tax Digital for VAT programme to the public.  However, HMRC also announced that it is deferring the MTD obligations for group VAT returns, non-residents and certain other use cases until October 2019.

MTD will require digital transactional recording and filing of UK VAT returns from 1 April 2019.

MTD test pilot live to public

HMRC launched a private test pilot for MTD in April 2018. To date, the test environment has only been available to software vendors and a small number of invited businesses. From today, the 'sandbox' is available to most of the millions of sole traders and other businesses above the UK's VAT registration threshold of £85,000 per annum. However, a number of use case are not yet able to join the pilot, including:

  • Businesses trading with the EU
  • Trusts
  • Charities
  • Partnerships
  • Annual return filers
  • Flat rate scheme traders
  • Newly registered businesses who have not yet completed their first return
  • Businesses in filing arrears.

The revised pilot schedule now is:

Date Activities
Oct 2018 Open to sole traders and companies (except those which are part of a VAT group or VAT Division) provided they are up to date with their VAT. Those who trade with the EU, are based overseas, submit annually, make payments on account, use the VAT Flat Rate Scheme, and those newly registered for VAT that have not previously submitted a VAT return, are unable to join at this point. Those customers with a default surcharge within the last 24 months will be able to join the pilot by the end of October 2018.
Late 2018 Private testing begins with partnerships, those customers that trade with the EU, and users of the Flat Rate Scheme.
Late 2018 / early 2019 Open to other sole traders and companies who are not up to date with their VAT and businesses newly registered for VAT that have not previously submitted a VAT return.
Early 2019 Open to partnerships and those customers that trade with the EU.
Spring 2019 Pilot open for Making Tax Digital customers that have been deferred.
April 2019 Launch for all except those deffered (see below)

6-month MTD delay for groups and non-residents

HMRC also announced today a deferment until October 2019 of the obligation to file via the new API-platform for the following use cases:

  • VAT groups
  • VAT divisions
  • Non resident traders
  • Trusts
  • Annual VAT return businesses
  • Unincorporated charities
  • Traders paying on account
  • Certain public VAT payers

The test pilot for the above businesses has been delayed until Spring 2019.

Need help with your UK VAT compliance?

Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.