Getting Started

You will find that the application creates an extra Group called “Making Tax Digital” in the “Home” Ribbon Tab

The application enables any Excel Workbook to become the source of information to send to HMRC.

The VAT information in the workbook can be populated by:

  • Data pulled into Excel using any of the Excel Data extract tools
  • Data pushed into Excel using external software’s Excel links
  • Data entered directly into Excel in any structure that suits your business process


1 Have a saved Excel File open

For integrity reasons a workbook must have been saved to disk before it can be enabled for Making Tax Digital (MTD). Also for integrity reasons a file can only be used for a single submission which encourages the taking of a snapshot of the records as they were at the time of submission.  

2 Enable the file for MTD

Once saved you can enable the workbook by clicking “Enable Workbook” in the Making Tax Digital Ribbon Group. The software does not limit the number of Workbooks that can be enabled. 

3 Identify the cells that contain VAT Values

Once a workbook is enabled it is simply a matter of identifying the cells that contain the results of the calculation for each box on the return. There is a video helper here

4 Steps to take on HMRC Gateway

There are 2 completely separate steps required on the HMRC Gateway to be able to successfully submit a return:

  1. You must register with HMRC for Making Tax Digital for VAT
  2. You must authorise a VAT Number with HMRC which authenticates the software you are going to use. Our software manages this process.

5 Register on HMRC Gateway for Making Tax Digital for VAT (Only done once )

Important: businesses should not register for MTD for VAT until they have filed their last return through the old xml route. This is because sign up migrates their record to the new HMRC MTD system and closes off the xml channel.

You must sign up on the HMRC Gateway for this mandatory process.  HMRC say that you must sign up at least one week in advance,  The link they provide to take you through the steps is here:

Please note that this is an HMRC requirement and nothing to do with our Making Tax Digital Excel Solution

6 Authorise a VAT Number with HMRC (Only done once every 18 months)

For live running HMRC require you to authenticate the software you are using for Making Tax Digital using your existing HMRC Gateway Credentials. Each VAT Number must be separately authorised. Authorisation lasts for 18 months before it needs to be repeated. Once authorised, submission of live VAT returns and interrogation of live VAT information can proceed using the Software. 

The HMRC API (and our software) prevents you from making multiple submissions for a VAT Number for a single period. 

The one-off (for each VAT Registration number to be used)  authorisation process is fully explained in the video helper here  

7 Submit a return

There is a Video helper for the submission process here

The application can be used without paying for a license up to the point that you wish to communicate with the live HMRC API. At that point you need a license key for each VAT Number for which you wish to submit returns. A license key can be bought here. A license key can allow multiple VAT Numbers to be submitted from a single machine, the appropriate quantity can be purchased at the start or an existing licence key can be extended here.  

The HMRC API (and our software) prevents you from making multiple submissions for a VAT Number for a single period. 

If you wish you can fully familiarise yourself with the authorisation and submission steps using the HMRC Test environment. To do so you need to use a valid test VAT Registration Number, User Id and Passwords, You can obtain these by buying packs of 5 valid sets of credentials from here A set of credentials includes a VAT Number, User ID and Password valid for the HMRC Test system. 

Each test VAT number only allows 2 test submissions (an HMRC Sandbox restriction),  

Access to help is always available from the help button on the Making Tax Digital Ribbon Group