Making Tax Digital update and scheduled maintenance

Jun 04, 2019

HMRC are carrying out scheduled maintenance later this week to their Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) service; the maintenance is scheduled for after 7 June when businesses which are monthly VAT filers are due to file their first VAT return under MTD for VAT for the month of April 2019.

As a result of the scheduled maintenance, taxpayers will be unable to use the MTD VAT and income tax services at the following times:

  • From 11.30pm on Saturday 8 June to 10.30am on Sunday 9 June; and
  • From 11.30pm on Saturday 15 June to 10.30am on Sunday 16 June. 

During these periods, taxpayers will be unable to:

  • Sign up for Making Tax Digital
  • Create an Agent services account (although all other Agent services will be available)
  • Submit returns
  • View previous submissions and payment details
  • Set up new or cancel and amend existing direct debits
  • Review and update any business details. 

A further period of scheduled maintenance for the MTD VAT service will take place on 17 June. From 9am to 5pm (at the latest) taxpayers will be unable to submit VAT returns through MTD software or view return information through their online services account or software. All other elements of the MTD services will be available during this period, including the ability to sign-up to the service.

The payments service will not be available during the Sunday downtime’s but will be open on Monday 17 June. 

Readers are reminded that businesses which must submit VAT returns under the MTD for VAT rules must sign up to the service. This sign-up can be done by the business itself or its agent. If a business is not already signed up, it must wait at least 24 hours after submitting its final non-MTD VAT return before signing up.

If payment of VAT is made by direct debit, businesses should allow five working days after the submission deadline for the final non-MTD for VAT return before signing up. Where payment is made by direct debit the business must sign up at least 7 working days before the first MTD for VAT return is filed. This means that businesses due to sign up and submit their quarter ended 30 June 2019 return in accordance with MTD for VAT who pay by direct debit should sign up by Friday 26 July 2019 at the latest.

Businesses should also ensure that they receive email confirmation from HMRC that they have signed up before they file their first MTD for VAT return; HMRC are advising that this can take up to 72 hours to arrive.

HMRC have also updated the guidance on who can join the MTD for income tax pilot. In addition, several MTD for VAT documents have been updated.

Individuals can now sign up to MTD for income tax if:

  • They are a sole trader with income from one business, they rent out a UK property or both;
  • Their self-assessment tax returns and payments are up to date; and
  • They are UK resident for tax purposes

Currently, individuals won’t be able to take part if they need to report:

  • income from any other sources;
  • any other payments that are taxable or that you claim tax relief on

Anyone signing up to the MTD for income tax pilot must have an MTD for income tax software product. At present the HMRC list of software products only four providers.

The following MTS guidance and publications have been recently updated:-