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The final countdown to Making Tax Digital for VAT (part 3) – your questions answered

Posted 8 months ago in Small business by Hannah Collett
Posted by Hannah Collett

In the final post of our Making Tax Digital Countdown series, we speak to accountant Linda Gibson from Gibson Whitter. She unpicks some of the challenging questions you might have from using spreadsheets to poor internet access, and touches on what’s next on the horizon for digital tax.

Can I still use spreadsheets? 

Yes. If you still use them to prepare your records and VAT returns, you can continue to do so.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that spreadsheets meet their VAT record keeping requirements.

It’s still well worth making the full digital leap if you can. You’ll then be able to future proof your business against anything else further down as well as get all of the other benefits of using a cloud-based package like Xero.

My broadband is really slow. What should I do?

Businesses based in areas of the country with weak internet connections might worry about how they are going to cope. The good news is that HMRC has made some allowances for those who experience this issue. See if this can be applied to your business.

If you do not qualify for an exemption, you could also just hire an accountant or a bookkeeper to do the job for you. They could even take over the entire bookkeeping function so that you can concentrate on your business.

Do I need to authorise a tax agent to submit VAT returns on my behalf?

No this isn’t necessary. You can submit your VAT returns yourself.

If you have an accountant and want them to submit VAT returns on your behalf, then you must authorise them to do so. Without the authorisation, they will not be able to access or submit your VAT Returns.

What’s next for Making Tax Digital?

Once this phase of Making Tax Digital is fully implemented, HMRC’s plans involve corporation tax and income tax. The next part of the implementation isn’t expected for a couple of years but HMRC are pushing forward with their digital agenda. It’s worth keeping a close watch on HMRC announcements so you have no nasty surprises. 

For more information on preparing visit our resource centre here


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