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Reminder: VAT for voluntary filers

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This communication was issued to our Sage Business Partner.


This communication was sent 17 March 2021.

Reminder: VAT for voluntary filers

Notice 21-H | 17 March 2021

Dear partner

Last year we wrote to you to outline the upcoming changes for VAT submissions for voluntary filers. We wanted to remind you that the deadline is approaching.

This change will see changes for users of Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Sage 50cloud Accounts and Sage 200cloud which contain in-product XML submission capabilities in addition to MTD*.

As a Sage Partner, it's essential you're aware of this change and the options available. This will ensure you can support customers & help them manage this change.

*In-product MTD submission capability is version specific.

What's changing?

From 08 April 2021 the HMRC are making changes to how VAT returns are submitted and the option to submit VAT returns electronically using XML format will no longer be possible. Not to worry, Sage have got it covered!

In Product Submission

To submit VAT Returns electronically using Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Sage 50 or Sage 200 software, customers will need to register for Making Tax Digital (MTD) to submit their next return:

  • If customers pay HMRC by Direct Debit, they must sign up for MTD at least 5 working days after their last non-MTD VAT Return submission.
  • This needs to be at least 7 working days before their first MTD submission.
  • For other payment methods, there must be 24 hours after their last submission and 72 hours before their first MTD submission.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will be the simplest way to submit using existing Sage software and we would strongly recommend this for the long-term success of customers businesses. All customers will be required to register for MTD by 2022.

Note: Once successfully registered, customers will be unable to de-register.

Are there other options?

Yes, customers have the option of manually filing their return after this date on the HMRC Portal. They can either sign in to the government gateway here or create a government gateway account here. Should they decide to appoint an accountant, it is important to speak to them before making any decisions on the VAT submission.

What about other products?

Other products such as Sage Intacct, Sage X3, Sage 300 and Sage ERP 1000 do not have an in-product XML VAT submission capability and therefore customers will already be using the MTD submissions module.


To prepare for this upcoming change, you can find some useful information on our Making Tax Digital hub or alternatively through our support articles which help provide the information you need to remain compliant. We've included some below.