HMRC make changes to filing VAT returns

From April 2022, all VAT registered businesses will have to sign up to filing VAT returns digitally.

What this means is that if you are VAT registered, from this date you will need to maintain digital records and submit your VAT returns using software such as Xero or another API-enabled software.

Also, HMRC recently announced that from April 2021, they will no longer support non-MTD VAT submissions to be submitted through a software provider. This means that if you are VAT registered but not signed up to file your returns digitally you will not be able to file your return through Xero or another API enabled software you are using. Therefore, you will have to file this manually through your online HMRC VAT account. The last non-MTD quarterly VAT returns you will be able to file through your software will be for the quarters November, December, January and February 2021.

There are two options available to you:

Either sign up for MTD – if you use Xero for your VAT go to ‘Move to MTD’ in the VAT return and follow the link to set this up – or sign in to your HMRC online account and in the VAT section there will be details on how to set this up. If you need help setting this up, please contact our Plus Advisory department who will be happy to assist you in this process.

Alternatively, you can continue to generate VAT returns through your current software but these will be required to be filed manually using HMRC online services or by using an MTD bridging software.

From 23 November 2020, there will be a non-MTD VAT return to use in Xero which will look very similar to Xero’s MTD VAT return. This was deliberate in order to be easier for businesses to move to the MTD VAT return in 2022. You will be able to run your VAT return and publish the figures, but you will need to file this manually or use an MTD bridging software.

If you require any further information on this, please contact the Plus Advisory department who will be happy to help with any questions.

Author: Debbie MarriottXero & VAT Advisor @ Plus Accounting

Contact me on 01273 701200 or email

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