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MTD VAT Period showing "blocked" in QBO

MTD VAT period showing "blocked" for 3 clients (rest showing "open")

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Enrolled our June quarter end clients for MTD. 12 showing "open" in our software on the VAT page (QuickBooks Online). 3 showing "blocked" with an "undefined error" message occasionally appearing. Thought this may be an issue at QuickBooks side initially, but further investigation shows that the Business Tax Accounts's of those clients show "No returns due" under the next return section (whilst the other 12 show "next return due by 7 August"). 

Been on the phone to HMRC a number of times, totalling around 3 hours now. Told we'd get a callback from the technical team - the first time they called back and said "it'll be resolved over the weekend" and rushed the member of staff off the phone (quite rudely) - and the other times they've failed to call back. 

This morning's hilarity was being passed over to the MTD Unit, only to be told that those 3 clients were July quarter end's on the basis he could see an April VAT return for each of them. He noted the Box 5 figure and submission date were the same for all of them... funnily enough, he was quoting our Firm's own VAT Return at me 3 times rather than the clients! 

Anyone else suffered from a similar issue? 

Replies (17)

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By johnhemming
12th Jun 2019 14:16

What you should do is to get some software that gives you direct access to the obligations API and use that to look up all the available obligations.

That will give you a much better idea of what is going on.

This may be the issue with legacy numeric obligation keys that is soon to be fixed, but whatever the cause is it is a better idea to know exactly what the HMRC systems are saying.

The fact that they are authorised for QB does not prevent them also being authorised for another MTD service.

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Replying to johnhemming:
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By GoldLeader
12th Jun 2019 14:58

Hi John,

Thanks for that. This confirms what we are seeing in the clients Business Tax Accounts - that HMRC does not have any "open obligations" for the client. Using "Easy MTD VAT", the three with issues show nothing under the open obligation panels, while the other dozen we've enrolled all show the 1st April to 30th June VAT quarter as open. (We've only enrolled 30th June Quarter End clients for MTD thus far)

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Replying to GoldLeader:
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By johnhemming
12th Jun 2019 15:49

I think your only option is to wait until HMRC have done their most recently scheduled updates (over this coming weekend).

If you can get MTD software that can tell you exactly what the response is from HMRC and what is being sent to HMRC it becomes easier to resolve this sort of problem.

Somewhere there is a message number 401, 404, 403 etc and some text. This is the same for all MTD software as it it sent by HMRC and will tell you what is going on in a way that is the same for all interfaces.
(succcess messages are like 201 and 200)

The basic difficulty of MTD is that success or failure depends upon computers talking to each other and it helps to know what the servers are saying to HMRC and vice versa.

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Replying to johnhemming:
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By GoldLeader
12th Jun 2019 16:20

Hi John,

not sure where to find this error code. QBO doesn't show it (unless I'm looking in the wrong place). Neither does Easy MTD VAT. Also just tried VAT Direct and got a never-before-seen "you cannot access client data at the moment" error message on HMRC when attempting to authorise - underneath states "Agents are currently not able to authorise software applications on their clients behalf." - this happens for clients that are and are not working on QBO. (Odd, as I've authorised them on both Easy MTD and QBO...)

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Replying to GoldLeader:
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By johnhemming
13th Jun 2019 09:14

I emailed HMRC yesterday evening and they have now confirmed that this message relates to your account not being allow access to the hello scope.

Vat Direct has an extended authorisations page which has a large number of different scopes, but it also has a shorter version of that page which previously only had an authorisation process for read:vat write:vat and hello.

It now has two options on the short page. One is for clients the other is for the ASA account and does not authorise the hello scope. This has been tested with an ASA account and clearly works.

Vat Direct uses the hello scope to distinguish between accounts which are in MTD and those which have not applied.

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By nodrogbir
12th Jun 2019 15:36

Are you an IT expert or an Accountant ( first thought in my mind) .

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Replying to nodrogbir:
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By GoldLeader
12th Jun 2019 15:54

Qualified Accountant, and "digitally savvy" - not a trained programmer, but more than a basic knowledge of IT. Why do you ask?

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Replying to nodrogbir:
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By Matrix
12th Jun 2019 16:25

Gordon you must have realised by now that the two are synonymous these days ;)

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Replying to Matrix:
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By GoldLeader
12th Jun 2019 16:33

Haha, HMRC certainly seems to expect so!!!

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Replying to Matrix:
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By GHarr497688
12th Jun 2019 18:06

seems so and John the Plumber !!

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Replying to nodrogbir:
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By GHarr497688
12th Jun 2019 18:07

Curious

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Replying to GHarr497688:
By Duggimon
13th Jun 2019 11:50

GHarr497688 wrote:

Curious

I'm not sure if you're aware but the account you are replying to is your own alternative account.

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By GoldLeader
15th Jun 2019 13:42

Update for anyone interested: HMRC have now admitted this has been a known issue for the last 3 months (they just didn't tell the VAT helpline or MTD unit), with a fix scheduled for Monday.

The issue was something to do with the codes they use to identify specific VAT periods for firms - alphanumeric codes were processing fine, but some firms have (for a reason known only to HMRC) purely numeric keys, and these seem to be at the heart of the problem.

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Replying to GoldLeader:
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By GoldLeader
19th Jun 2019 12:26

Unsurprisingly, this fixed nothing for us.

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RedFive
By RedFive
19th Jun 2019 12:02

At least we aren't the only company with this issue....

And as a further update the HMRC 'fix' didn't work so still in the dark.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/mtd-client-sign-up

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Replying to RedFive:
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By johnhemming
19th Jun 2019 12:47

I did a video this morning that looks at the issues of the 403 and 404 error messages and also looks at scopes and how to review scopes and remove authorisation. I posted it on the other question about this issue, but it might be useful here as well:

https://youtu.be/pyGGIRgKMfU

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RedFive
By RedFive
01st Jul 2019 11:10

Today the obligations appeared on the 3 affected clients accounts with ****wait for it***

>>>Submit a VAT return for July, Aug and Sep before 7th November<<<

So the April / May / June one has disapeared, hence why QuickBooks will not sync.

QB still showing blocked (as the quarter dates in QB don't match HMRC).

Client Business Tax Account shows next THREE MONTH return as July / Aug / Sep.

All three are the same, and I can't file in gateway as that has been switched off.

Great work HMRC.

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