VQOTW: MTD Soft Landing Extension

My client has heard on the grapevine that the ”soft landing” period for MTD has been extended due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Have HMRC published any confirmation of this extension?

On 7th April 2020 HMRC published an update to Notice 700/22 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vat-notice-70022-making-tax-digital-for-vat), which confirms the rumours which have been circulating, that the ”soft landing” period has been extended and will now end for VAT return periods starting on or after 1 April 2021 instead of 1 April 2020. Although not explicitly stated, it is understood that this is to ease the pressure on businesses struggling with issues compounded by the Covid-19 measures.

It should however be noted that soft landing was only ever intended to cover the digital links between software programs and digital records. The measure was never intended to cover non-compliance with MTD per se; such as failing to register for MTD; failing to keep the requisite records in a digital form and failing to submit VAT returns via digital means. Further detail on what is covered by soft landing is provided in paragraph 4.2.1.1 of the Notice, part of which has the force of law.

This latest move to ease the burden on businesses follows on from earlier measures implemented by HMRC to allow businesses to defer VAT payments due to be made in the period 20th March to 30th June 2020, and to relieve import duty and import VAT on medical supplies, equipment and protective garments in particular circumstances, details of which can be found via the following links.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pay-no-import-duty-and-vat-on-medical-supplies-equipment-and-protective-garments-covid-19

 


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Sally is the Team Leader of the VAT Advice and Consultancy team at Croner Taxwise. She has worked in VAT since 1990, including eight years spent with HMRC, both as an Assurance and Enquiries Officer involved in presenting seminars and business education. Since joining private practice in 1999, Sally has specialised in providing VAT technical advice to a variety of clients, ranging from small one-man bands to large multi-national corporations, on the full range of VAT technical matters.

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