What is Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT? What are the rules and who do they apply to?

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide. 

Subscribers see Making Tax Digital: VAT (subscriber guide)

Under Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, known as 'Making VAT Digital' (MVD), VAT registered businesses are required to use 'functional compatible' software in order to report VAT.

This means that they must:

MVD applies to:

  • All VAT registered businesses for their first VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2022, unless they are exempt for example because they are Digitally excluded.

Start dates

  • MVD commenced for the first VAT accounting periods commencing on or after 1 April 2019.
  • Certain businesses deemed as complex for VAT, had their MVD start date deferred and commenced on the first VAT accounting periods on or after 1 October 2019.
  • Businesses that use the GIANT (Government Information and NHS Trust) service, were not mandated to join until April 2022.
  • From 1 April 2022, all VAT registered businesses are required to sign up to MVD.
  • For businesses who had already joined MTD for VAT, digital links had to be in place by April 2021. This was delayed from 2020 due to COVID-19.


The existing VAT penalty rules apply until 1 January 2023 at which time a new Points based system for late filing and payment of VAT will be introduced.

For full details, see Making VAT Digital section.

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