Making Tax Digital: the timing issues of VAT direct debits

Apr 15, 2019

In a recent update from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), some care is needed when ‘signing up’ for Making Tax Digital. 

VAT should ideally be paid by direct debit, but HMRC’s systems need sufficient time to move the location of where a taxpayer’s direct debit payment is received. Consequently, HMRC ask that signing up for MTD is not done within 5 working days of the last VAT payment being made, and within 15 working days of the next payment being due.  This is particularly problematic for any VAT-registered organisation that files VAT returns (and pays) on a monthly basis – the timescale to comply with HMRC’s request is very narrow.

Remember that although MTD for VAT came into force on 1 April, it is your first return that starts on or after that date that needs to comply with the requirements of MTD.  For example, therefore, your March 2019 VAT return need not be submitted any differently from previous returns.

Read all about getting your business MTD compliant   

Your VAT circumstances are unique to your organisation; if you remain unsure about your options or your obligations under MTD for VAT, please get in touch with your accountant. 

Whitley Stimpson has a team of specialists who advise on all tax matters including Making Tax Digital for VAT. For advice, please contact MTD expert John Skinner on 01295 270200 or

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