Making Tax Digital (MTD) brings mandatory change to the way the public communicates with HMRC.
Business Tax Account
At present, taxpayers can use an HMRC online Business Tax Account (BTA) – and many already do so – but it’s not essential. This is changing.
With MTD, there will be some things that taxpayers will only be able to do through the BTA. Effectively, the BTA moves to being an integral part of communication with HMRC. There will, for example, be some notifications or confirmations which HMRC will only accept through the BTA. This will be the case even though we act for you as agents. It will also be necessary for businesses to provide HMRC with an email address as part of MTD.
There are provisions for ‘digitally excluded’ taxpayers – but HMRC’s definition of digital exclusion is narrow and may prove difficult to access.
HMRC says it will keep BTA-only contact to a minimum. Clearly however, businesses currently without a BTA need to set one up as soon as possible.
MTD for VAT begins for VAT return periods starting on or after 1 April 2019. Thus, any business which operates above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000) will need its BTA up and running before this date.
If you currently use an HMRC online service, you may have a BTA without realising – check the heading of the web page that appears when you next log in. If you don’t interact online with HMRC, and don’t already have a BTA, the first step is to create a Government Gateway ID. Businesses should register as an ‘organisation’. Please talk to us if you would like further advice on any aspect of MTD.