Small businesses urged to double check their MTD compliance

30th May 2019
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  • Over 300K UK businesses wrongly believe they are MTD compliant*
  • A free MTD Checker tool is launched today to help make MTD status clearer

MTD checker tool

LONDON, UK – 30 May 2019: A brand new and easy to use widget has been launched today by Intuit QuickBooks to help all UK small business understand whether they’re ready to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) filing requirements for VAT or not, or even if they need to be. The free to use MTD Checker tool helps to demystify what it means to be ‘digital’ in the eyes of HMRC, as the new tax legislation continues to roll out and, the first major VAT filing deadlines approach.

Independent research commissioned by QuickBooks of 500 small businesses has shown that 89% of businesses have heard of the government’s MTD initiative^. In fact, almost two thirds (64%) believe they are compliant, but shockingly, deep analysis of the SMB’s filing methods has shown that 46% of small businesses wrongly think they are compliant when actually they’re not^. That’s approximately 346,000 small businesses who could get caught out when it comes to filing compliantly to HMRC MTD rules for VAT.

The MTD Checker, available through the website ( was developed for everyone and isn’t restricted to small business that subscribe to QuickBooks, the world’s largest cloud accounting software provider.

Chris Evans, VP and Country Manager at Intuit QuickBooks UK said; “The UK is embracing digital, putting it at the heart of everyday business and transforming productivity. We believe MTD is set to accelerate this digital transformation so we commissioned the research to understand how small businesses are embracing change and how we can deliver tools to make it easier.

“These results are clear; there’s still uncertainty around MTD and what constitutes compliance. Today, I’m excited to launch our MTD Checker to give SMBs across the UK the certainty they need around their readiness for MTD, helping their journey to digital.“

This MTD Checker launch comes as HMRC is stepping up its advice to VAT registered small businesses, in anticipation of getting those that need to be signed-up, fully registered ahead of the 7 June and 7 August filing deadlines1.  All businesses that are VAT registered and have a turnover of £85,000 or above must sign-up to the new scheme.

Here are five tips to make sure businesses are compliant with MTD filing requirement for VAT and start filing VAT returns without unnecessary hiccups:

  1. CHECK - either with the free QuickBooks MTD Checker widget or directly with HMRC
  2. TRACK - start keeping your business records digitally  immediately, a Financial Management Software (FMS) application can help with this
  3. CLEAR - any outstanding VAT filings that are due, once a business is signed up for MTD the previous Government Gateway portal will no longer be accessible to it
  4. REGISTER - it’s not automatic, it is the responsibility of each business to opt-in for MTD on the HMRC website – they won’t auto enrol
  5. PREPARE - in advance, don’t leave it until the night before the VAT return is due, as not everything can be done straight away.  It’s advised that you register at the latest two weeks before, as it can take some time to set up (e.g. transfer direct debit information).

QuickBooks is a HMRC recognised provider of MTD compatible Software and offers a suite of solutions to suit businesses, no matter how far they are on their journey. For example, the software includes free Bridging Software - designed to map to existing spreadsheets, ensuring MTD compatible filing using the company’s existing Excel or CSV files.  Additionally, QuickBooks is the only software provider to offer SmartScan – an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven service that run a certain number of checks for most common errors in VAT returns before they’re submitted - to help avoid mistakes and increase confidence in the data submitted2.

Visit the QuickBooks website or for more information and to run through the simple checking procedure.