Making Tax Digital – Digital Record-Keeping

Did you know the UK government now requires all VAT registered businesses to digitally maintain their VAT records? This shift in record-keeping is part of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative that came into force on April 1, 2021.

The scope of data to be stored digitally is wide, encompassing everything from your basic business details to specifics about your supplies, transactions and UK VAT return data.

But how does this digital transition impact your business operations? Stick around, as this discussion will not only guide you through the essentials of digital record-keeping under MTD but also introduce you to Avalara’s solutions for navigating these new requirements, ensuring your business remains in line with UK VAT legislation.

Key Takeaways

  • UK VAT registered businesses over the VAT registration threshold must keep and maintain relevant VAT records digitally within functional compatible software.
  • The digital recordkeeping requirement was mandated on 1 April 2021.
  • Sales and purchase invoices with VAT must be stored digitally.
  • The data that must be stored digitally includes designatory data, supplies made, supplies by third parties, supplies received, and reverse charge transactions.


In this overview, we’ll examine the essentials of digital record-keeping for Making Tax Digital (MTD).

You’ll come to understand the key components required by UK VAT registered businesses and gain valuable advice for maintaining these records.

This understanding sets the foundation for successfully navigating the MTD requirements and ensuring your business remains compliant.

Digital Record-Keeping Essentials

You’ll find that digital record-keeping is an essential component of Making Tax Digital, requiring businesses to utilize compatible software to maintain detailed records for at least six years, encompassing all sales, purchases, and information about VAT supplies.

  • This includes the use of HMRC approved software
  • VAT returns must be digitally linked
  • Some businesses may be exempt
  • Compliance improves accuracy
  • Record-keeping is streamlined through MTD.

Key Digital Record-Keeping Advice

To successfully navigate the intricacies of Making Tax Digital, it’s crucial to utilize compatible software for your digital record-keeping. This will ensure that all sales, purchases, and VAT supplies are accurately logged for a minimum of six years.

Emphasize on maintaining digital links in your accounting software and adhere strictly to MTD regulations. Your business records must meet the requirements for Making Tax Digital service.

Therefore, it is important to keep records digitally, file accurately, and update regularly.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Quickbooks for Making Tax Digital?

Yes, you can use QuickBooks for Making Tax Digital. It’s compatible with the requirements, enabling digital record-keeping and VAT return submissions. It effectively aids in meeting HMRC’s digital regulations for VAT-registered businesses.

Can You Use a Spreadsheet for Making Tax Digital?

Yes, you can use a spreadsheet for Making Tax Digital. It’s crucial to ensure it’s combined with compatible software for digital record-keeping to meet HMRC’s requirements and maintain accurate VAT records.

What Are the Rules for Making Tax Digital?

For Making Tax Digital, you’re required to keep digital records and submit VAT returns using compatible software. Your records must be accurate, complete, and maintained for at least six years. Certain exemptions apply.

How Do You Keep Digital Records?

You’ll keep digital records by storing all relevant information electronically. This includes data like your business name, VAT number, sales, purchases, and VAT rates. Use compatible software to maintain and organize these records.


In conclusion, embracing the MTD initiative isn’t only a legal requirement but also a transformative step towards a more efficient and accurate VAT compliance process.

Remember, digital record-keeping is the bedrock of this initiative.

With Avalara’s solutions, you can ease the transition and stay compliant.

Keep your business ahead of the curve – embrace digital transformation in tax compliance today.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

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