HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has said that over 35 software suppliers have reported they will have systems ready for businesses and agents to use new online systems under its Making Tax Digital programme.
It has also published a list of 18 companies, as of 13 July, that have used its test environment and demonstrated a prototype of the software. The list consists primarily of specialist suppliers of accounting and tax software and will be updated as testing goes on.
The move is a significant step in the programme, a major element of which will require businesses with a taxable turnover above the £85,000 VAT registration threshold to move away from annual tax returns towards digital record keeping and quarterly updates to HMRC from April of next year.
The department said it has started to pilot the changes with a small number of invited businesses and agents and plans to take more on later in the year. Meanwhile it has urged businesses to ensure they are keeping their records in digital format.
It has also produced a communication pack that stakeholders can use in running their communications for clients, customers and members, and a VAT notice that includes guidance and digital record keeping and the return requirements of the new arrangements. The latter includes information on how to use combinations of software programs, reflecting the fact that businesses and tax agents already use a variety of systems.
The roll out of Making Tax Digital was put back for a year in March of last year, following a series of warnings that many businesses would struggle to have the software in place in time for the initial deadline of April this year.
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