From 1 April 2019, Making TAx Digital (MTD) finally beging to come into force.

Under the MTD rules most businesses will be required to digitally record tax-relevant data and to use MTD-compliant software to transfer the required information directly to HMRC’s systems via an application programming interface (API).

MTD for business is being introduced tax by tax, not by business size or type.

The MTD project covers taxes paid by individuals as well as by businesses. However, the implementation timetable is uncertain for many areas of tax. Parts of the MTD programme have been delayed as resources have been diverted away from HMRC to deal with Brexit.

The project starts with VAT and is currently slated to roll out to the following timetable:

Periods beginning on and after

1 April 2019


MTD for VAT: Filing begins for certain businesses with annual turnover above the VAT threshold. Consultation may start for corporation tax.

Periods beginning on and after

1 October 2019


MTD for VAT for all complex and specialist businesses with a deferred start date.

April 2020

Date not confirmed


MTD for VAT: A review of progress to  date, and a possible rollout of MTD to all VAT registered businesses


April 2021

Date not confirmed


MTD for income tax: Filing begins for unincorporated businesses and landlords who pay income tax on profits


April 2022

Date not confirmed


MTD for corporation tax

In mid-October, HMRC announced that MTD for VAT has been deferred to 1 October

2019 for the following complex and specialist VAT registered organisations:

  • VAT Groups
  • VAT Divisions
  • Vat Traders based overseas
  • Trusts
  • Unincorporated charities
  • Certain public sector bodies
  • Annual account scheme users
  • Companies who pay more than 2 million of VAT per year who must make VAT payments on account.

The MTD for business project will only include income tax once the reporting system for MTD for VAT has bedded in.

MTD will be introduced by types of tax, and the timetable is yet to be confirmed for many elements. It will be important to keep an eye on new deadlines as and when they are confirmed.