VAT - making tax digital

Question asked by David Foster 3 years ago

We are an operating company that uses ClearBooks to do our book-keeping. Currently I file the VAT returns myself by logging in to the portal and typing in the numbers myself.

  • Does that counts as"doing tax digitally" for VAT purposes?
  • If I register for ClearBooks to file the VAT return as my agent, does that then count as "doing tax digitally" for VAT purposes?
  • Is there something else I need to do or another ClearBooks package I need to use?

I thought it was going to be a question I could answer myself from the ClearBooks website, but they keep talking about ClearBooks large and ClearBooks micro.... Any guidance would be much appreciated! Thanks.

7 Replies

Hi David,

In answer to your questions -

1 No. 2 Yes. 3 The Large plan (£21.50/month) is for VAT registered companies, so if you are currently able to add VAT to transactions and compile a VAT return on the Reports>VAT menu, this is the plan you are on - and this is the plan you will need to be able to submit MTD VAT returns.

Thank you for your wonderfully clear answer. We do add VAT to transactions and compile a VAT return on the Reports>VAT menu, and pay £21.50/month. So I'll register for (2) to give myself a couple of quarters to practice, then all should should be good.

Excellent -thanks.

Hi David (& John),

Thanks for your questions, in particular (2) as I currently use that feature in ClearBooks and wasn't sure if it counted as MTD compliant or not; great that it is!

I can thoroughly recommend registering CB as your agent with HMRC, and using the electronic reporting feature. I've been using that for several years now and it really does make the process easy. Just a few clicks and review of what's being included, and job done.

You'll appreciate the time saving, I'm sure.

Sorry to reopen this, but....

I've now started using ClearBooks to submit my VAT Returns to HMRC. Good experience so far. HOWEVER, I have noticed that the ClearBooks feature toggle has a second 'MTD' one. What does that do? When do i need to enable it? I've filed with it turned off without a problem. When do I need to enable it?


Hi David,

The MTD submission feature only currently supports the MTD Pilot scheme. You should only turn this on if you are eligible and wish to participate in the pilot scheme. However, I would advise waiting until April 19 when MTD fully comes into place. When this is turned on, you will find a new tab; MTD Onboarding, which is a 6 step process to transition your business onto the MTD portal. You can see further details in the guides below:

For SMEs:

MTD Overview for SMEs

MTD Onboarding for SMEs

For Accountants:

MTD VAT for Partners

Set up HMRC Agent Services account

Set up clients for MTD VAT


Thanks Tommy. I'll definitely wait then. You might put a little "flag" next to the toggle saying "You should only turn this on if you are eligible and wish to participate in the pilot scheme"!

Hi David,

No problem - I'll see if our developers can do so!


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