The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Making Tax Digital: Changes to Digital VAT reporting from April 2019

As many members will already be aware, the Government has announced its intention to require businesses above the VAT threshold of £85,000 to send in their VAT returns to HMRC digitally from 1st April 2019. 

From this date, if you are a business with a taxable turnover above £85,000 you must: 
  • keep your VAT records digitally; and 
  • use Making Tax Digital (MTD)-compatible software to submit your VAT returns 

Retailers can still get their agent to submit their VAT return.  Making Tax Digital will not require retailers to submit any additional information or change deadlines for sending VAT returns. Retailers will still submit using the 9-box VAT return.   

BA Representations 
Given the likely impact on booksellers of these changes,  the BA made representations to Mel Stride MP, First Secretary to The Treasury, before Christmas, urging that the implementation be delayed, pointing out that our request was supported by the influential European Accounts Select Committee, whose members had recommended that the Digital Reporting of Corporation Tax and Income Self-Assessment should be delayed to 2022, at the earliest.  We said that because of this new requirement, many booksellers would have to change the way they submit their VAT Returns, and smaller businesses would find it difficult to do this without engaging professional expertise or buying accounting software  to help with the changeover, adding further cost to the business.

Mel Stride replied saying that the Select Committee’s recommendations were being considered, but he made no promise to delay implementation.  (“Making Tax Digital will bring benefits to booksellers that go wider than easing tax administrative burdens to help them get it right first time.  They will also benefit from improved record keeping, and a streamlined, digital experience”)

In view of this, we have to work on the basis that the launch date will be 1st April 2019, unless advised otherwise, and we have produced a Briefing Note (with grateful acknowledgement to the Association of Convenience Stores) and FAQs to help members which is ready to download from here