VATLive > Blog > United Kingdom > UK MTD for VAT digital links postponed to April 2021 due to COVID-19

UK MTD for VAT digital links postponed to April 2021 due to COVID-19

  • Mar 30, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The UK’s HMRC is announcing today that the 1 April 2020 second phase of Making Tax Digital for VAT has been postponed by one year until 1 April 2021. Businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.

Below is an extract from the HMRC email being sent today:

We understand that the impact of COVID-19 is creating extremely difficult times for all, and we are committed to helping in every way possible all those businesses facing unprecedented challenges.

Therefore, we are providing all MTD businesses with more time to put in place digital links between all parts of their functional compatible software. This means that all businesses now have until their first VAT return period starting on or after 1 April 2021 to put digital links in place.

In a separate communication, HMRC added:

"Every business will still need to ensure they are keeping digital records, submitting VAT returns via an API enabled software and maintaining all digital links they may have in place already."


The second phase imposed digital bookkeeping and journey, plus the imposition of VAT penalties. The launch date was 1 April 2020.

HMRC has taken the opportunity to bring the approximate 35,000 deferred taxpayers into line with the rest of the 1.4million taxpayers. This means both the 1 April 2020 and 1 October 2020 deadline taxpayers will be expected to have implemented the digital journey by 1 April 2021.

Explore more content like this in our Building for COVID-19 recovery hub

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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