The Bransom Blog

Are you getting ready for Digital Tax Submissions?

Are you getting ready for Digital Tax Submissions?

From April 2019, you’ll no longer be able to keep your VAT records or send in your VAT returns purely manually.

If you hadn’t heard this before, you should look into it as soon as possible!

From next April, HMRC expects you to not only keep your VAT records digitally, but also submit them digitally online through software. So, no more written records (well, as long as you also have them digitally, e.g. on a spreadsheet or in an accounting programme), it all goes completely digital.

As far as is known, this will NOT include the online forms which are manually completed- it must be a direct digital input.


Assuming your turnover is above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000), and you’re not VAT-exempt, you and your systems will be required to:

  • Keep your VAT records in a digital form;
  • Retain and preserve those records in a digital form for up to 6 years;
  • Generate your VAT return from those digital records
  • Provide HMRC with this information digitally via software or an API link;
  • Provide HMRC with additional data on a voluntary basis
  • Receive information from HMRC about the business’s compliance record.

So, how are your VAT records?
Do you have them saved in a digital format already?

It’s possible that your accountant has an accounts package, such as Sage or Xero, that will be able to manage those submissions digitally, but the key element here is to ensure the data from your sales or stock systems can be exported into your accounts package quickly, easily and with the least duplication of work (which will otherwise cost you money), especially now you may need to submit returns monthly – 3 times as much work!

We’re already signed up with HMRC as a developer and are using their API platforms to developing a simple way for digital VAT returns to be submitted directly from our bsmart2 Stock Management VAT reporting system, which already delivers one of the most sophisticated VAT management functions in the retail jewellery market.

“The bsmart VAT reporting passed the most difficult of tests – an official VAT inspection after which we were told our records were excellent, all thanks to the Bransom system!”
Edward Wright, Wrights’ The Jewellers

We can also provide simple extract facilities so that your records can be imported directly into systems such as SAGE® Business Cloud Accounting, Sage 50, 200 and Xero® Accounts packages.

As part of your diligence, you should:

  • Check with your software providers that their system can generate the digital records that they require.
  • Check that it :
    • calculates VAT correctly on Deposits (especially if changed mid-purchase)
    • calculates VAT correctly on Credit Notes
    • calculates VAT correctly on Second-hand margin-scheme
    • calculates VAT correctly on Antiques,
    • calculates VAT correctly on Private Treaty
    • etc.
  • Does the system cater for EU purchasers? – likely to still be required after Brexit
  • Does it produce an Intrastat report for HMRC?

If not, consider a move to bsmart2.

For more information on Making Tax Digital, please consult the Government website.

Sage® and Zero® are registered trademarks owned by the Sage Group PLC and Xero Limited respectively and are duly acknowledged.

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