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First MTD VAT return with Sage 50Cloud Accounting

Seem to be going round in circles

Didn't find your answer?

Just wondering if anyone has done this and can give me a steer, please, as I seem to be missing something.

Client's bookkeeper has gone on the sick. She had signed them upto MTD early and first (Feb) VAT return is due for filing; fortunately they're a repayment case.

Client has asked me to look at this and it's is my first contact with real-life MTD. VAT return was ready to go but, when I try to submit, I get a box telling me that Sage needs to be authorised from within the client's Government Gateway's account. So, I log onto the GG but can't find any place where I can do that.

I was in any case under the impression that you need some new sort of online account to deal with MTD. I could well be wrong about that but could this be why there's nothing to see in the old GG a/c? The bookkeeper, however, swears blind that she's not set up any new a/c.

So, anyway, I next tried looking at the Sage support article. That seems to imply that all you need to do is tick an "Enable MTD for VAT submissions" box on the VAT tab of the Company Preferences screen. I checked that and it is indeed ticked but the VAT return still won't submit. I'm also pretty sure that there must be more needed than the article suggests (I believe the software has to be linked to the GG / online a/c?), so I ring the Sage Helpline. That tells me, after a 10 minute wait, that the expected wait time is in excess of an hour, and this is for a client with premium support! By then, both he and I have lost the will to live.

What am I missing / doing wrong (other than having clients / bookkeepers who ignore the instructions not to do anything on MTD until they have to and definitely not without letting me know first)?

 

Replies (18)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th Apr 2019 13:23

Its a repayment, so wait until they get back.

Let the bookkeeper fix their own mistakes.

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By adam.arca
05th Apr 2019 13:46

Yes, that was my first thought.

Unfortunately, the client wants his repayment soonest.

Also, the bookkeeper has just been signed off for 3 weeks and really doesn't sound very well. This isn't looking good for me: I may also have to learn how to do CIS returns on Sage!

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By Duggimon
05th Apr 2019 14:58

The need for a new account applies to agents only, individual taxpayer accounts should stay more or less the same.

Are you certain they've fully signed up for MTD? Have you tried filing without that box ticked?

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By Anita14
05th Apr 2019 19:16

I've had exactly the same situation but you are on the right track. After hitting "Submit" within Sage, you will be taken to a Government Gateway window and it does indeed say you have to authorise Sage to interact with HMRC. But you do that within that same window, by clicking Continue. At that point my submission kept failing and it took several days of head scratching and phone calls to discover it was a problem with a security setting on my PC. Our IT person fiddled with the SSL/TLS (?) settings and suddenly it all worked.

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Replying to Anita14:
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By johnhemming
06th Apr 2019 17:09

SSL - Secure Sockets Layer
TLS - Transmission Level Security
They are both the same. I have a vague idea that HMRC require TLS version 1.2 although that may be open banking (I am working on both at the moment and I use the higher levels of security anyway).

http://ssllabs.com

Offer a helpful service that you can use to check how well security software is implemented by your various providers.

For example
www.sage.com comes out as grade A
quickbooks.intuit.com comes out as grade A+
www.vat.direct also comes out as grade A+
www.xero.com, however, comes out as A.
www.pwc.co.uk does get the top grade A+.

You don't necessarily know whether the implementation of suppliers' MTD service is at the same level, but if you can find the domain names you can test it using ssl labs.

I know that there are at least one MTD supplier that does not offer Grade A security, but I don't think it is fair to identify those. Anyone who wants to can test these things.

Incidentally Accountingweb.co.uk is grade A.

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By adam.arca
08th Apr 2019 16:20

Anita14 wrote:

I've had exactly the same situation but you are on the right track. After hitting "Submit" within Sage, you will be taken to a Government Gateway window and it does indeed say you have to authorise Sage to interact with HMRC. But you do that within that same window, by clicking Continue. At that point my submission kept failing and it took several days of head scratching and phone calls to discover it was a problem with a security setting on my PC. Our IT person fiddled with the SSL/TLS (?) settings and suddenly it all worked.

Many thanks for replying, Anita.

That looked promising but, when I tried it just now, the message which comes up doesn't have a Continue option and just says we should log into the GG a/c. It's presumably not quite the same message so not quite the same issue.

I've taken a screenshot of the message but there don't seem to be any editing options for Aweb unlike other forums I use so don't know how to include that here (not that it's likely to help much).

Anyone else got any thoughts by any chance?

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By Cheshire
08th Apr 2019 18:07

Not ideal, but how about a new thread for the attachment, then link to this thread and vice versa, as I know you can attach something on the initial 'Ask a Q' part, but not later (as far as im aware).

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By Anita14
08th Apr 2019 18:32

I took screenshots when I submitted the return, so can tell you the screens should be as follows:
“VAT return online submission
Making Tax digital is a key part of….” Click Next.
Gov.UK pop up:
“Authority to interact with HMRC on your behalf
Sage needs permission to interact with HMRC on your behalf. To grant this authority you’ll need to:
1. Sign in to your Government Gateway account
2. Enter the 6-digit code…..”
(In spite of how it appears, you do this from within Sage, not directly through the Government Gateway. This screen goes on to say “If you’re an Agent….” but BELOW that, and hidden from view, is a Continue button. Drag the pop up window up to see it – after all, why make it easy?)
Another pop-up appears:
Sign in to Government Gateway (you can still see Sage under all of this)
Enter your ID and password, then the 6-digit access code
“Authority to interact with HMRC on your behalf
The Sage software application is requesting to do the following:
View your VAT information
Change your VAT information”
Click “Grant Authority” button
When you get past that, you will see a more Sage-like screen “VAT return, Submit your period”
Annoyingly this defaults to the next VAT quarter, so check the drop down box to set the correct period, then “Submit to HMRC”.
Finally a Congratulations box with a submissions confirmation.

This all assumes you have entered the eSubmissions credentials in Sage/ Preferences and ticked the MTD box.

In the Government gateway account, the new MTD area is virtually empty, but you should see a tab for 2019 and 2018 returns, and one for "Previous returns" which has a link to the old familiar VAT record.

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Replying to Anita14:
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By johnhemming
08th Apr 2019 18:18

This is oauth2 aka Open Authorization separately the company needs to sign up to mtd.

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Replying to Anita14:
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By adam.arca
09th Apr 2019 10:45

Success!

That's absolutely brilliant help, many thanks again, Anita.

If Aweb are listening, they really ought to put your post in some sort of MTD tips and ticks section because this issue is definitely going to crop up again and again over the next few months.

Just to add my own gloss, I really, really struggled to get to the bottom of the message where the Continue button was. I don't know if that was because my client's computer is a laptop with a relatively small screen but, in the end, the only way I could manage it was to tile all open screens and go from there.

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By Anita14
09th Apr 2019 17:17

I'm glad you sorted it. Yes, mine was very difficult to see also, even on a bigger screen. I could drag the pop-up message up but as soon as I let go of the mouse it dropped down again. In the end I had to work out how many key presses it took to tab down out of sight and then hit Enter!

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By adam.arca
08th Apr 2019 16:34

Duggimon wrote:

The need for a new account applies to agents only, individual taxpayer accounts should stay more or less the same.

Are you certain they've fully signed up for MTD? Have you tried filing without that box ticked?

Many thanks for that, Duggimon. At least I now know a little bit more about it from the client-side.

I am beginning to wonder if the bookkeeper has actually signed the client up for MTD (perhaps she thought ticking the box I referenced in my OP meant signing up?). Unfortunately, I can't ask her but I think I'll try unticking and seeing if submission will work that way as you've suggested. Job for tomorrow as I've turned the computer off in frustration now.

What I'm finding somewhat confusing when I browse through their Business Tax Account is that, whilst there are lots of PAYE links, there's naff all in there for VAT. There's one mention of "Making Tax Digital for VAT" but it doesn't do anything and there's pretty much nothing else at all VAT-related. I don't know what it's supposed to look like but can't help feeling there must be something missing.

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By johnhemming
08th Apr 2019 16:55

What you need to do is to find out if there is an email from HMRC saying that the company has signed up to MTD.

It sounds to me that they haven't actually signed up. You can tell this if you use an API interface that has both Hello and the VAT apis. If Hello works and the others don't then they probably haven't signed up to MTD.

Do they use XML to submit otherwise or the gateway?

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Replying to johnhemming:
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By adam.arca
09th Apr 2019 10:51

Turns out we've all been traducing the bookkeeper unfairly as she had indeed done exactly what she said she'd done. The problem was that the whole process was so opaque that, in trying to guess what might or might not have happened (and without using any of the APIs you kindly suggested), we've leapt to a conclusion which was reasonable but wrong.

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By GHarr497688
08th Apr 2019 17:05

Should not be this way .

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By adam.arca
09th Apr 2019 10:55

GHarr497688 wrote:

Should not be this way .

Indeed, an absolutely bonkers way to run a tax system and implement a systems change.

Don't you get the impression that the whole MTD approach was the "solution" pulled randomly out of the hat when HMRC's IT staff had a "it's a boring Friday afternoon" competition to design the most bizarre system possible?

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By ChristyB
30th Jul 2019 14:33

Does anybody know why Sage is not showing the current VAT quarter for submission on the MTD module? It shows the previous 4 quarters and I have checked the last one (Jan - Mar 2019) and it's perfect. I've only just set it up but can't work out why this should be happening.

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Replying to ChristyB:
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By johnhemming
30th Jul 2019 16:30

This may be another missing obligations issue. I can help you find if you have a numeric period key (which is symptomatic of this) if you email me ([email protected])

If it is the missing obligations issue then Red Five did a really good post about how you can get this resolved. Hopefully in time.

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