MTD (Making Tax Digital) compliance in UK

I already told you I know nothing about MTD. That includes not knowing if anyone else knows anything. I will tell you, though, that tax filing is not included in the program for any country. As I replied to another user a few months ago:

The tens of thousands (who knows, possibly millions) of businesses in the UK, using hundreds or thousands of different accounting programs, will all face the same issues. Inevitably, some method will appear for submitting data that does not require direct interface from all those accounting programs to a government portal.

Ok, so I am safe to assume that you do not want to/this will not be added to Manager? There is a government API for submitting data that is publicly available.

I am assuming you are a developer of the software?

No, I am not the developer. I am a moderator of the forum. I am a user like you. I have no control over whether any feature will be added, so my desires are irrelevant.

@tut is not the developer, @lubos is. However is up to you paying someone to connect Manager’s API to your Governament’s API. Keep in mind that probably all the API interface will change before the end of 2018.

If the problem is only of emitting invoices in XML, I think you can achieve this with a custom them as I’m doing myself for Italy.

Hi this is going back a bit. MTD for HMRC what does it mean. I have gone thru lots of online sites to see this can be submitted to HMRC vat online. I love using Managers software have been doing it for quite some years now and if possible I do not want to change or move to another software. HMRC is saying that the vat returns need to submitted to them digitally rather than logging on its portal and inputting them manually, this is being changed as inputting figures some people don’t do them right and over 2million returns are wrong, so this costing them lot of valuable hours to ratify them. The users of Manager are fully compliant with MTD as all the records are kept digitally. There is a work around For Manager software user to submit the VAT returns if software developers can added a button to convert Tax Report “VAT Calculation Worksheet” to be exported a csv file that file to be submitted to HMRC VAT. If this is possible? Digital filing need to be done from 1st April 2019.

Hi, MTD will go live in 2019. Although initially compliance is only required for businesses with a turnover of £85000, I believe everyone will need to comply soon enough. @lubos, would you consider making Manager compliant at some point before this happens? Otherwise I fear all UK Manager users will need to switch to compliant software. Thanks for a great piece of software so far.

Sorry. To clarify, as far as I understand it records will need to include customer/supplier VAT registration numbers. Maybe this could be done using custom fields?

I too would like to stay using Manager but fear I might not be able to.

According to the HMRC information, you cannot manually take information from the VAT calculation report and enter in into another spreadsheet or software for uploading to HMRC. This process has to be automatic/ digital.

I am using the MAC version of Manager and when I run the VAT Calculation Report, there is currently no option to export this data into cvs/excel format. This means I cannot take data manually from the report and use a bridging facility to get this to HMRC…which makes using Manager pointless and so a change of software will be required.

What is the plan for making this software MTD compliant…if at all?


As said there are new API coming very soon that will give instruments to everyone to develop custom plugins. @lubos promised them before the end of the year but I think they are having some delays.

Making Tax Digital is important and all the details are in the transaction report that can be exported to a spreadsheet. However, the spreadsheet then needs work to get the information as per the VAT calculation worksheet required by HMRC. Surely, if the VAT calculation worksheet can be exported this would solve the problem.

In all other aspects this is a great accounting/inventory software solution. Please aim to overcome this apparently minor issue.


HMRC seem to be asking for nothing to be done manually (there are a few exceptions, but don’t apply for the common cases) they want to stop numbers being manually inputted/copied between packages/forms. They give examples of companies using different pieces of software and says they must talk to each other digitally.

Bottom line, from April 2019, UK business with more than £85k turnover (in VAT’able goods) will no longer be able to use Manager, and from April 2020 possibly all UK businesses which are VAT registered. Of course you can ignore HMRC and copy the values from Manager and force another package to accept and submit them (possibly by creating a journal entry or similar) but it feels like this is likely to cause problems straight away, and these problems will only get greater as HMRC pushes the MTD scheme further.

I approve broadly of what HMRC is trying to achieve (making people use sensible software and not badly constructed spreadsheets full of errors) but I am not happy that it will cost businesses to buy software and also not happy things like Manager are being cut out.

Adding my voice to the list of people who would like to see Manager support submitted the VAT numbers…

Hi, I got a letter through yesterday, that we are one of the “lucky” ones who have to comply with this “only” from October 2019. So, any development that Manager would be able to integrate this, would be very much appreciated. Thanks

Hi. I’m aware that there is work ongoing in an effort to meet the UK MTD requirements and that will be much appreciated obviously. However, in the interim, Manager can still be used to meet the demands of MTD by the use of “bridging software”. I have joined the pilot scheme for VAT and successfully filed VAT returns from Manager by the use of a report exported to Excel and then through the bridging software.

However, at the minute I am having to use an export of “TaxTransactions” to complete the return whereas the far more preferable approach would be to use the “VAT Calculation Sheet”. There is, though, no way to export this to Excel at the present time.

Would it be possible, therefore, to produce the “VAT calculation Sheet” in a format that can be exported directly to Excel and thereby, at least in the short term, provide a solution to the MTD problem.


Can you confirm which bridging software you used?


The VAT calculation sheet with a csv export would be a useful addition. However another method of exportable VAT data is by clicking on the VAT Tax payable in the summary page and export the entries from there.

Yes I have used “Vitaltax” which is listed in the HMRC approved software for MTD. It is simply an add-on for Excel which I find is nice and simple. It does the job satisfactorily and it is also free! There may be better bridging software but Im happy with this one. I have 3 separate Companies on 3 different forms of accountancy packages (Manager, Sage 200 and spreadsheet) and all 3 can be completed by “Vitaltax”.

I note your comment about using the VAT export from the summary page and while this provides the actual VAT amounts well, it does not provide the goods value of the transactions so can not complete the VAT return figures completely. Unfortunately, HMRC require all data to be electronically transferred (ie no manual input of figures) so that on its own would not suffice!

The ideal result would be for Manager to be able to export the “VAT Calculation Sheet”.

Thanks for the reply. I’ll give Vitaltax a try come April…unless the whole thing is postponed as the House of Lords have advised.

I’m confused over what level of data manipulation is considered acceptable. Presumaby once the figures are exported, a degree of manipulation/deletion/reformatting is required to get the data in the right format for the bridging software ‘add on’ to accept? Is it just entry of the actual figures manually which HMRC takes exception to?

The bridging software is a side panel in Excel. You basically complete the VAT return (similar to the VAT100) by simply referencing cells in the main spreadsheet. By this method you are not actually manually entering figures. Vitaltax have a nice little video to demonstrate their package.
The whole MTD system has been thrown into a bit of a mess because HMRC did not appreciate the complexities of their own tax! They failed to take account of Companies who are, for example, “partially exempt” (eg property owning companies) who have to manipulate their VAT figures on spreadsheets to adjust for the amount of input VAT they can reclaim and then have to do annual adjustments on top of that. HMRC had to revise their original concept of seamless uploading of data from accounts packages to their servers.

I joined the pilot MTD programme and using VitalTax plus an export of the Tax transactions spreadsheet i was able to successfully submit a return. A degree of data manipulation was required to manually enter EC sales and purchases. But all in all…a pretty simple, free solution to an issue which potentially was going to cause a lot of hassel and expense.

+1 for the idea of making the VAT sheet exportable.

Thanks to laidback for the info. Much appreciated.

The cynic in me can’t help but wonder what VitalTax get out of this…

I have started going through HMRC’s list of MTD compliant software. Naturally I have been looking for something simple I can use with Manager. VitalTax is the simplest one I have found so far. Can we have the VAT Calculation Worksheet as an Excel download please? That would make things very easy and pretty much foolproof.

I have more possibilities to check out. Anyone care to share opinions of other solutions?

This is where you can find the HMRC list: