MTD for VAT scheduled maintenance

HMRC is undertaking scheduled maintenance to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT service to enable them to release additional functionality. Access to the service will be closed from 17:00 on Friday 30 November until 11:00 on Tuesday 4 December 

HMRC has provided the following information: 

During the scheduled maintenance period, there will be no access to any of the elements of the service. This includes new traders joining the VAT pilot and existing traders accessing their accounts, making submissions, or filing VAT returns. Traders who join the service on 29 or 30 November may also encounter a delay in receiving their sign-up confirmation. HMRC appreciates that the timing of this is close to the filing deadline for those who have to file their next return by 7 December, but the service will be available again from 11:00 on 4 December to ensure they are able to do so.  Traders participating in the pilot should not revert to filing their VAT returns through the HMRC portal or their old ‘XML’ software in the interim. This scheduled maintenance will release more functionality that will allow HMRC to open up the pilot to the vast majority of customer types, once they have completed initial, private testing with small numbers of invited businesses and agents. This includes partnerships, EU Traders, new businesses and those whose affairs are not up to date. HMRC will provide an update once that private testing is complete and they are ready to open the pilot up to these groups and will be writing to all traders within the scope of MTD for VAT once they are eligible to join the pilot.   

The MTD Income Tax pilot is unaffected by this maintenance. 

The Tax Faculty is very concerned about the timing of this shutdown, just before the filing date for October quarter end VAT returns. In many cases this will be the first VAT return that a business is filing using MTD for VAT compatible software.  We have discussed this with HMRC who have apologised, but the timing is unavoidable given the now very tight timetable for the implementation of MTD for VAT in April 2019.