The deadline for the introduction of VAT filing changes is now just weeks away. For VAT returns periods starting on or after 1 April 2019, some 1 million businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required to start keeping their records digitally (for VAT purposes only) and provide their VAT return information to HMRC by using compatible software. HMRC has published a press release to help remind businesses to get ready for the change and suggested the following action points: Take steps to find out if your business is affected by the Making Tax Digital process and what you need to do if it is – most businesses above the VAT threshold have to start keeping their records digitally and sending their VAT return to HMRC direct from their software for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2019. Talk to your accountant or other agent – if you use one to manage your VAT affairs – about how they are making returns Making Tax Digital compliant. Speak to your software provider if you already use accounts software to ensure it will be compatible. If you’re either not represented by an accountant, and/or do not already use software, you’ll need to select software to use and sign-up to Making Tax Digital – GOV.UK webpages provide information on a wide variety of products, from free software for businesses with more straightforward tax affairs, to increasingly sophisticated paid solutions. There are also products that can be used in conjunction with a spreadsheet for those businesses who don’t want to change their underlying record keeping system. HMRC has advised that during the first year of the changes they will take a light touch approach to digital record keeping and filing penalties, especially if businesses are doing their best to comply with the law. However, this does not mean a blanket ‘no penalties promise’. Planning note If you are VAT registered, with turnover above £85,000, and you have not yet converted to the use of accounts software that will link with HMRC’s systems, please call as we can help you deal with the updates and changes required.