Bridge SQ has been recognized by HMRC as part of the Making Tax Digital VAT programme. If your business is over the annual VAT Turnover Threshold (currently £85,000) then for the first period starting on or after 1st April 2019 you will be required to keep digital accounting records and to submit your VAT return to HMRC using 'Making Tax Digital for VAT' compatible software.
If your business turnover is less than the threshold, then adopting MTD for VAT is optional, and could well make your life easier, however you should be aware that once signed up you are committed to continue using it whilst you remain VAT registered.
If your business isn't VAT registered, it is important to understand that the requirement for registering for VAT once the business exceeds the VAT threshold is based on a rolling 12-month period as opposed to a tax or calendar year. Therefore you should be continually monitoring your turnover to ensure that you register in time.
Before you can use your software for MTD submissions, you will have to sign up with HMRC to use the Making Tax Digital service. This has to be done through your Business Tax Account.
Currently (October 2018) the programme is running as a 'Public Beta' meaning that businesses are free to sign up on a voluntary basis. The pilot is open to sole traders and companies (except those which ar part of a VAT group or VAT division) provided they are up to date with their VAT and have not incurred a default surcharge in the last 24 months. Those who trade with the EU, are based overseas, submit annually, make payments on account, use the VAT Flat Rate Scheme, and those newly registered for VAT that have not previously submitted a VAT return, are unable to join at this point. For more information see Overview of Making Tax Digital.
You can check whether you are eligible for MTD VAT by accessing your Business Tax Account and visiting this page: Use software to submit your VAT Returns and clicking the 'Start now' button.
Once you have signed up for MTD, you have to authorise Bridge SQ to access your VAT account. You do this from Bridge SQ. We take you to login to your Business Tax Account (this is done through Windows to ensure that we don't see your User Id nor Password) and you tell HMRC to allow us access (we need read and write access). Once authorisation has taken place, HMRC sends a code back to Bridge SQ which allows us to check your VAT obligations and submit your VAT return. We only do this when you request it and we will always tell you that we are connecting.
Authorisation lasts for a period of 18 months, after which you will need to re-authorise. You can cancel the authorisation at any time through the Business Tax Account.
If you are setting up Bridge SQ and are already signed up for MTD, you can do the authorisation as part of the setup process. On the VAT settings screen, click the Authorise check box:
If you already have Bridge SQ set up, then you can do the authorisation through the VAT account screen:
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