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Making Tax Digital for VAT – Farming Businesses

From 1 April 2019, businesses with a turnover of more than £85,000, including farming businesses, will have to submit data to HMRC via accounting software.

Businesses with a turnover of less than £85,000 will not have to comply with the new system, but will be encouraged to do so.

Key facts:

  • there will no longer be the option to use a paper-based record-keeping system to calculate the amount of VAT owed before submitting a paper return or manually entering calculations on the HMRC website
  • farms using electronic spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel, will also have to invest in specialist accounting software or bridging software (a tool to transfer data from one place to another) as, after the change, they will be the only products capable of sending and receiving data from the website
  • HMRC will not be providing free software for users to make VAT submissions
  • only one submission will be allowed for each individual VAT registration number, this means companies that keep multiple sets of accounts for different businesses, will need to combine them into one figure for their VAT return

For further information and a list of companies that sell accounting software please visit the GOV.UK website.

If you have a farm or forestry business then visit the Farming Connect pages for practical advice and support.


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