close menu

Making Tax Digital: Important changes for UK businesses

by Scott Brown | Aug 30, 2017
  • The Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, announced in the 2015 Budget Speech, is the most fundamental change to the administration of the UK tax system for at least 20 years. MTD was originally intended to come into full force by April 2018, however, the government has recently announced significant changes to the timeframe and implementation of this initiative.

    The essentials: What is MTD?

    The MTD system is intended to create an accessible and transparent tax system that places less of a burden on the taxpayer. The essential elements of MTD are:

    • No more paper records: It will become mandatory to use software to keep accounting records. Paper accounting records will no longer meet the requirements of tax law.
    • Quarterly reporting: Tax payers will be required to submit updates to HMRC each quarter, directly via accounting software.

    See also: What Making Tax Digital means for your small business

    The changes

    The good news for anyone who has been dragging their feet in getting ready for MTD is that the government announced that only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes. These businesses will only need to do so from 2019.

    Making Tax Digital will be available on a voluntary basis for the smallest businesses, and for other taxes. This means that businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will be able to choose when to move to the new digital system.

    As VAT already requires quarterly returns, no business will need to provide information to HMRC more regularly during this initial phase than they do now.

    Do note: Those who are not able to engage digitally for religious reasons or due to age, disability or location (due to no availability of broadband) will also be exempt.

    Get help figuring out your MTD deadline

    What to do now?

    What you need to do now depends on the size and structure of your business and how your records are currently kept. You may need to implement or upgrade your accounting software and your processes will most likely need to change.

    You will need to organise your quarterly submissions to HMRC or provide your accountant with the relevant information for them to do the reporting on your behalf. In times like this it really does pay to have a qualified accounting firm in your corner.

    Our accountants can support you through these changes. Get in touch with us on +44 (0) 20 7759 7553 or for more assistance.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • Man cutting coin with table saw
      10 cost saving ideas for your small business
      Nov 20, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • Confused businessman
      Hiring your first employee for your UK business? This is how much it costs
      Oct 31, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • business plan
      Step-by-step guide to writing a business plan [template included]
      Aug 29, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • female-entrepreneur hot air balloon
      Why we need more women-owned businesses
      Jul 16, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • crowdfunding lightbulb
      7 ways to finance your small business
      Jul 16, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • Businessman looking to the future
      How to get your business ready for the future
      Jun 19, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • Guide to UK PAYE tax forms
      A guide to UK PAYE tax forms P45, P60 and P11D
      Jun 14, 2019  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • Cut-taxes
      The 2019/20 tax year changes: What they mean for you
      Jun 10, 2019  |  by Scott Brown
    • confused
      Do you need to complete a Self Assessment tax return?
      May 29, 2019  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh
    • Tax refund money
      11 excellent ways to spend your UK tax refund
      Apr 09, 2019  |  by Kobus Van den Bergh

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8844

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.