MTD and spreadsheets

Member question on MTD and spreadsheet bridging software

Recently a member asked this MTD and spreadsheet related question:

I have spoken to our IT team who have had a look at one of the Excel bridging options available.

It appears that you have to take the information that you have in your current Excel spreadsheet and copy it into the preformatted Excel spreadsheet of the bridging software provider, who in turn will then use their application or servers to submit the return to HMRC.

Do you know if this is how all bridging software is going to work?

The answer

For clarity in this case we are discussing MTD for VAT and not MTD for income tax.

We cannot say for certain that all spreadsheet bridging applications will work with a pre-defined template. However, I would expect most to work that way.  It would simply be impossible for the spreadsheet bridging application to be aware of the numerous accounting applications on the market and know where to look for the correct data.  It certainly could not do this with a high degree of certainty.

It could be possible for an application to be instructed which cells in an existing spreadsheet contain specific bits of information. In other words someone would map the bridging software application to the data cells in the original spreadsheet.  This feels overly complex and less likely.

We have seen one demonstration of a bridging application (an API enabled Excel spreadsheet) and that certainly used a template for the nine box return.

Further information

Our MTD hub contains advice on how to choose software as well as a list of software providers.

Also, see the software section of this page of the MTD hub for more information on the use spreadsheets with MTD.