120,000 businesses failed to meet the Making Tax Digital deadline

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that 1.1 million businesses have now signed up for Making Tax Digital (MTD) and so far, 1.2 million VAT returns have been successfully submitted through the service.

Figures suggest that 490,000 VAT-registered businesses with a turnover of £85,000 should have completed their first return at the start of August. However, 120,000 businesses failed to take action by 7 August deadline as they did not sign up in time.

According to the new digital scheme, businesses would be fined at least £100 for not complying. However, HMRC has said during the first year it will be taking a light-touch approach to penalties and will not issue filing or record keeping penalties where businesses are doing their best to comply with MTD.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We want businesses to join MTD without fear of getting it wrong – HMRC is not penalising those transitioning.

“Our letters are the latest in a series of communications to encourage those remaining businesses to join the 1.1 million who already have signed up and ensure they know how to access support to do so if they need it.”

HMRC has announced that the MTD for VAT online services will not be fully available from 21 – 23 September due to scheduled maintenance.

Over this period of time, it will not be possible to sign up for MTD, submit returns, view previous submissions and payment details, set up new direct debits or amend or cancel existing ones, or review and update any business details.

For help and advice with Making Tax Digital and VAT, contact our expert team today.