It is important to keep a record of your actions in case you are later subject to some kind of fine or penalty for a compliance failure. After spending many days on trying to become compliant for Making Tax Digital for VAT I have decided to retain an online record of my efforts to be tax compliant.

By Nichola Ross Martin CTA FCA (Fellow) (all views expressed here are mine and mine alone!).

I have added a lot of what I have found into the help pages in our Making Tax Digital zone.

As recent feedback shows I am not alone....

Trying to sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT: my personal timeline

How was it for you?

22 October 2019 Only 1.25 hours on HMRC's helpline. Client 1 has now been re-authorised on the ASA and we must now wait 72 hours to see if it has worked. Found that somehow another client has fallen off the ASA. Client 2 has not been authorised: HMRC and I both gave up, and I was told to click on 'get help with this page'. I lost the will to continue the call too. I did suggest that maybe we should apply for an exemption.

11 October 2019. After five days of waiting for software support they say that they will phone me. Goody. I am (desperately) trying to remain enthusiastic about all this. Got to keep smiling at all costs and I am genuinely looking forward to knowing what on earth has gone wrong.

On a plus point many of you say that you have set up successfully. I wonder if we made the wrong software decisions.

4 October 2019 7pm. Would rather be not writing this but we have had another fail. The cloud software claimed that the 31/08/2019 return had been filed. I decided that I really should re-check this before I left for the day. It turns out that this is incorrect. It has not been filed by us or the client. This is all too weird. The client has been also removed from our new Agent Services Account. Happily, HMRC have left the old agent services account intact and we filed for the client using that. Will try and re-sign up next week.

7 September: the introduction of the CIS VAT reverse charge has been postponed to 1 October 2020.

5 September: reporting errors

I was reviewing how some software is reporting the VAT margin scheme. Note that the software's (Quickbooks) workaround does not match HMRC's guidance in VAT Notice 708/1. You end up understating Box 6 even though your VAT is correctly calculated.

3 September: Browser issues

A possible solution to browser issues, suggested by Is: you can clear your browsing history from your browser. This will clear stored cookies. Chrome, the most popular browser provides the option to clear cookies of 'all time'. This might take some time to do. If it gets stuck, then uninstall Chrome. re-start your PC and then reinstall it. 

Still not solved our agent authorisation: lost the will to phone the helpline again. Saving that for next week and the next VAT stagger.

2 September: Evidence of a 'light touch'

We have heard from a couple of businesses who did not realise that they needed to change their VAT and filed the June quarter under the old system. HMRC seem to be taking a light touch and have written to them to remind them of the new rules.

6 August 2019: we have an unknown problem: there is no solution

Still unable to make agent authorisation work for two clients. I did receive a call back from HMRC, they still have no idea why. It seems obvious that something needs resetting at HMRC's end but no one seems to know what. It is the 'silly season', so perhaps the IT department are on holiday too.