Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
User avatar
By Steve R
I haven't done it yet, but I just know that when I log in to HMRC to file my Q2 VAT return I am going to be faced with their new MTD requirements.

As I understand it, some accounting packages have this built in, but for the last 8 years I have run an spreadsheet which exactly mirrors the transactions in the bank account and it has been relatively easy to fill the 8 or 9 boxes from this spreadsheet

Again, as I understand it, there are (or should be) bridging software packages available to - in some way - attach to my XLS to enable MTD. There were meant to be some free ones, but I cannot find any.

Looking deeper into the HMRC system I see that there is now an API, using JSON, that developers can use to build an APP to submit values into the boxes. Presumably that is what the packages and the mythical bridging software utilise. I can just about code this stuff myself, probably, but I see that it takes 10 working days for HMRC to approve a developer's app and Iprobably don't have the time (and possibly not the skills) to get this done for Q2. So far I have not even found any working examples I can use as a template.

Has anybody out there done this? Can anybody recommend any resources?

As I say, I can easily get the numbers together, I think I just really need to be able to feed those numbers and my HMRC credentials into a web form on my own server and then do a GET or POST submission to make my tax even more digital than it already is.

Steve R
Feeling stupid.

Thanks to GG for the link. I had read it several times, failing to notice that it was written by a journalist and thinking it was PR for Avalara itself. I saw the date it was written, I saw no link to further info on the code itself and assumed they simply hadn't followed up their promise. This time I realised and noticed the link to HMCR's list of approved suppliers, which I followed. Avalara IS in the list, their code is now downloaded awaiting installation, and the 40 page PDF manual printed and read.

One of the things you have to do is register your intention with HMRC, and they take 72 hours to approve, so I just logged in to the gateway. AHA! It seems I am not obliged to embrace MTD anyway just yet - they are still describing it as a pilot - so I am off the hook for another 3 months. Phew....

Thanks anyway.

There will be a small income to be made if/when I do get to grips with installing and registering the free software. It'll be beyond most SME's.
I've installed an add-in to Excel from, free initially then £1/month after first year. I just submitted my first return using it and it was really simple and straightforward (as it was before but now under the MTD obligation)

I recommend you re-check your status on this btw, as I am under the distinct impression that it is mandatory since April for all vat registered businesses.
I was in a similar position to the OP and have purchased a subscription to Absolute Accounting VAT Filer. ... -vat-filer

Cost is £40 plus VAT for 13 months subscription - but worth having a check around if you are a member of any of partner organisations offering discount ( e.g. NFU members can have a 50% discount, making it £20+VAT for 13months).

My thoughts were that £20+VAT doesn't get me far with making something of my own (nor did I fancy battling through the inevitable advertising popups/ non-existent support with 'free' software), so I just paid up and use it. My VAT is done monthly and the two returns I have submitted with the filer have worked seamlessly.

If not already done, don't forget to allow time to apply for, and HMRC to validate, your MTD status before submitting your first MTD return - I think they say allow 10days but mine was done in about a week in March this year.